Goffstown New Hampshire’s Actor and Writer: Richard Clark Backus (1945-Still Living)

1981 stock photograph of Richard Backus.

1981 stock photograph of Richard Backus.

Richard Clark Backus
is the son of a physician, born in the small town of Goffstown, New Hampshire. He attended local Goffstown schools, graduating from Goffstown High School in 1963. Wikipedia reports that he attended Harvard University. The “Soap Opera Book: Who’s Who in Daytime Drama (1992) includes this description: Height 5’9-1/2, brown eyes, brown hair; Education: Harvard College B.A.; Interests: theater, writing ; Awards: Critic’s Poll Award, Theatre World Award…” [Editor’s Note, a 1992 interviewer erroneously states he is a Yale grad, go figure].

Richard Backus today is an actor and writer, best known for Another World (1964), Ryan’s Hope (1975) and Dead of Night (1972). He began his acting career working on stage in and near New York City. He won the Clarence Derwent Award and Theater World award. As a writer he was nominated for four daytime Emmy awards, and nominated for one as an actor. In 1982 he appeared opposite Richard Harris in Camelot (playing Mordred).

He has appeared on New Hampshire stages, such as The American Stage Festival, in Milford New Hampshire. There is no need for me to repeat the many stories about him, the major links directly below.

Richard Backus reading of THE MAN (biography on New Hampshire Production of Speak Truth to Power)
Richard Backus at IMDb
-Ultimate Soap Fan Wiki: Richard Backus
– Reading Eagle (newspaper) – July 30, 1989 – Soap and off-Broadway, keep Backus working
– Hollywood.com: Richard Backus

TRAILER from Movie: DEATH DREAM (aka Dead of Night) where he played “Andy.”
The premise for this horror film is a young soldier is killed in Vietnam but the parents get the dream they wished for when their son turns up at their front door seemingly fine.
TRAILER from Movie: DEATH DREAM (aka Dead of Night) where he played “Andy.”
The premise for this horror film is a young soldier is killed in Vietnam but the parents get the dream they wished for when their son turns up at their front door seemingly fine.

DEAD OF NIGHT (1974) Review


William Backus/Bacchus, the immigrant ancestor was born in England and settled at Saybrook CT in 1638. In 1660 he moved to Norwich CT and was one of the original proprietors of the town, admitted a freeman in 1663 and died in 1664. His will was dated 12 June 1661 and proved at London 21 June 1665. see more

.Ebenezer-6 Backus, (Josiah-5, Nathaniel-4, William-3, William-2, William-1) b. 21 Jan 1743 in Bozrah, New London Co. CT, and d. 24 Jan 1828 in Cazenovia, Madison Co. NY; he married three times, 1) Elizabeth Waterman who d. 1776; m2) Phebe Calkins, b. 1751, d. 1785; He m3) 30 Dec 1787 in Bozrah CT to Elizabeth Talcott. She was b. 24 Feb 1748 in Bolton, Tolland Co. CT and d. 1 May 1831 in Cazenovia NY. They are buried in South Cemetery, Cazenovia, Madison Co. NY
Children of Ebenezer & Elizabeth (waterman) Backus:
1. Eber Backus, b. 1767, d. 1845; m. Eunice Waterman
2. Ezra Backus, b. 1771
3. child Backus, b. & d. 1776
Children of Ebenezer & Phebe (Calkins) Backus
4. Betsey Backus, b. 1779, d. 1841
5. Phebe Backus, b. 1780, d. 1785
6. Lucy Backus, b. 1782, d. 1846
7. Harry Backus, b. 1785, d. 1841
Children of Ebenezer & Elizabeth (Talcott) Backus:
9. Joshua Backus, b. 9 Jan 1789 Bozrah CT; d. 1832 Batavia NY
10. +Talcott Backus, b. 22 Jan 1791 in Bozrah, New London CT.

.Talcott Backus, b. 22 Jan 1791 in Bozrah, New London CT; d. 16 Feb 1847 at Caseinovia/Cazenovia, Madison Co. NY. He married 23 October 1817 to Nancy Ann Root. In the 1820s, Judge Talcott Backus operated a brewery south of the village. This operation changed hands several times in subsequent years before Salem Twist assumed brewing operations in 1849.
Albany Evening Journal, ALbany NY, Friday Feb 19, 1847
DIED, At his residence in Cazenovia on Monday morning, at 8 o’clock. Hon TALCOTT BACKUS, in the 56th year of his age. Some three weeks since he received a wound in his foot from an axe, which appeared to be doing well until about a week ago, when it showed alarming symptoms, the inflammation extending up his limb, accompanied with chills and subsequent fever. Still his friends did not anticipate immediate or indeed ultimate danger. Other diseases were super-induced, and he became delirious. At intervals his reason would return, but it was only for a moment. He was like the darting of a ray of sunlight through the fissure of a dark cloud, which had shut down all — until his spirit was released and was ushed into a cloudless sky, which will never be oer’cast…. Judge Backus spent his childhood, youth and manhood here…..
Children of Talcott & Nancy Ann (Root) Backus:
1. Huldah Backus, m. 25 Nov 1845 to Lester M. Case, son of Joseph & Ursulla (Humphrey) Case.
2. Asahel Backus
3. +Samuel Backus, b. 17 April 1825 in Cazenovia NY.
4. Daniel Backus
5. Mary Backus

..Samuel Backus, b. 17 April 1825 in Cazenovia NY, and died 27 December 1857 in Trenton NJ; m. 30 April 1849 to Mary A D. Reeder, daughter of Isaac & Catherine (Williams) Reeder. She b. abt 1825 in NJ, and died 4 Jan 1870. She and Samuel are buried in Mercer Cemetery. The Trenton Evening times of 21 October 1900 had a story about teachers and others associated with the Trenton Academy. It mentions: “In 1847 Charles E. Stone became the principal, of the Academy … Charles S. Jamieson and Samuel Backus were his assistants in the English branches….Mr. Backus, who afterwards became principal, was a splendid teacher and was well liked by all his pupils. He was the father of Talcott Backus, receiving teller at the Mechanics’ National Bank…. In 1856.. Mr. Backus was vice principal…. In 1857 Mr. Backus succeeded [as principal]. He died in 1857.”
1850 US Census > NJ > Mercer > Trenton
Samuel Backus 25 M Teacher NJ
Mary A.D. Backus 25 F NJ
Mary E. Backus 4/12 F NJ
[several others not related living there]
Children of Samuel & Mary A. (Reeder) Backus:
1. Mary E. Backus, b 1850 Trenton NJ
2. +Talcott Backus, b. 1 Jan 1853 in Trenton NJ
3. Kittie A. Backus, b. 1855, d. 6 July 1877, buried with her parents


..Talcott Backus, b 1 Jauary 1853 in Trenton NJ, died 24 April 1904; he married 4 October 1876 in NJ to to Anna M. Robertson. She was b. — and d. 6 January 1890. The Trenton Evening Times of 7 January 1890 Stated: “BACKUS–In this city on the 6 inst, Anna M. wife of Talcott Backus.” A separate article states: “Mrs. Talcott Backus, wife of the teller of the Mechanics’ National Bank, died yesterday of pneumonia, which followed an attack of the influenza.” Buried Riverview Cemetery, Trenton NJ. He was the teller for the Mechanics National Bank, and also treasurer and head librarian of the Third Presbyterian Sunday School.
28 April 1904 Trenton Evening Times, Trenton NJ
Obituary–Talcott Backus was buried this morning from the home of Luther S. Skillman, his brother-in-law, 48 Ewing street, where private services were held at 10 o’clock. The body was taken to the Third Presbyterian Church where public services were held at 11 o’clock. Mr. Backus was widely known in Trenton because of his life-long connection with Mechanics Bank, and his funeral was largely attended by representative business and professional men. The sermon was preached by the Rev. Alfred J. Weisley who referred to the retiring and Christian life of Mr. Backus. Interment was made at Riverview cemetery under the direction of D. Taylor Ivins. The bearers were Alfred Livingston, William Hewitt, John S. Godley, Williard H. Young, Thomas E. Raub and Lewis H. McKee. Mr. Backus died suddenly Sunday night from heart failure and his body was found along the tracks of the Trenton Street Railway Company, near Broad Street Park.
Children of Talcott & Anna (Robertson) Backus:
1. +Richard Allison Backus, b. 15 April 1879 Trenton NJ
2. Maud Backus, b. May 1882; married 21 May 1910 in Trenton NJ to James S. Messler, son of Robert Messler. He graduated Princeton and associated with his father in the firm of Murray, Griffith & Messler. [both parents dead by 1910]; a talented musician
3. Russell Talcott “Talcott R.” Backus, b. 10 April 1886 in Trenton NJ; d. 21 October 1930 in Trenton NJ, age 43. He was superintendent of school buildings and grounds for the Trenton Board of Education. He married Helen Hall, and had two daughters, Nancy Louise Backus (who m. William Michael Dwyer in 1949) and Barbara Backus, and a son Russell Talcott Backus Jr.
4. Frederick Clark Backus, b. 6 Sept 1889 NJ, d. 1969; res. East Aurora NY; he married 30 April 1919 in Buffalo NY to Emily Burrowes, she b. 1898, d. 1968; had daughters Anne R., and Eleanor.


.Richard Allison Backus, b. 15 April 1879 in Trenton NJ, died 23 July 1970 in Newburyport MA; construction engineer, McKenzie Vorhees Bruelin of NYC. He married 29 April 1905 at Trenton NJ to Mary Adeline Barwis, dau of Elmer & Harriet A. (Rogers) Barwis. She was b. January 1878 and died 19 April 1952. She was b. abt 1878 in Trenton NJ In 1918 living at 45 Prospect Street, South Orange, Essex Co . At the time of his marriage he was a mechanical engineer working for the firm of Post & McCord, New York.NJ.
1900 US Census > NJ > Mercer > Trenton
Talcot Backus Head M 47 January 1853 widow NJ NY PA Bank Teller
Richard A. Backus son M 21 April 1879 NJ NJ NY
Maud Backus dau F 18 May 1882 NJ NJ NY
Russell T. Backus son M 13 April 1887 NJ NJ NY
Frederick C. Backus son M 11 Sept 1889 NJ NJ NY
Fidelia G. Burr Housekeeper F 41 July 1859 NJ
Bertha Schwable servant F 46 May 1854 Hugary Aus
1920 US Census > New Jersey > Essex > South Orange
Richard A. Backus Head M 40 NJ NJ NJ [b abt 1880] Engineer, Structural Arthictect Office
Adeline B. Backus Wife F 42 NJ PA NJ [b abt 1878]
Richard A. Backus Jr. son M 11 NJ NJ NJ [b abt 1909]
1930 US Census > NJ > Essex > South Orange
Richard A. Backus Head M 57 NJ
Adeline D. Backus wife F 52 NJ
Harold Backus nephew M 15 NJ
Child of Richard A. & Adeline (Barwis) Backus:
1. Richard A. Backus Jr., b abt 1909 in South Orange, Essex Co. NJ

.Richard Allison Backus Jr., b. 6 March 1908 in South Orange, Essex Co. NJ, and died 19 May 1995 at Bangor, Maine. He married 31 October 1936 in Marshfield, Washington Co. VT to Harriet Ellen Wright, daughter of Clark & Bernice (McNall) Wright, and granddaughter of Norman & Ellen (Lyon) Wright. She was b. 15 May 1909 in Milton, Chittenden Co., VT, and died 1966. At the time of his marriage he was 1st Lieut. Army Medical Reserve. They are buried at Center Cemetery in Colchester VT.
1940 US Census > NH > Hillsborough > Goffstown
Richard A Bachus Head M 31 NJ College 7 yrs Physician & Surgeon private practice
Harriet Bachus wife F 30 VT College 4 yrs
Robert A Bachus Son M 10/12 single NH
Ruth E. Williams Maid F 21 NH single
Bangor Daily News — May 19, 1995
OBITUARY: Richard Allison Backus. BANGOR — Richard Allison Backus, M.D., 87 died May 19, 1995, at a local hospital. Dr. Backus was born in South Orange, N.J. March 6, 1908, the son of Richard Allison and Adeline (Barwis) Backus. He graduated from the University of Vermont in 1931 and from the University of Vermont School of Medicine in 1934. He served an internship in Stamford, Conn., from 1934 to 1935 and then served as a doctor in the Civilian Conservation Corps in New Hampshire for two years. He married Harriet Ellen (Wright) Backus in Colchester VT on Oct. 31, 1936. Dr. Backus practiced medicine in Goffstown NH for many years and served as president of the Hillsboro County (NH) Medical Society. A general practitioner, he was known for his surgical and diagnostic skills, as well as for his compassion for his patients. An avid hunter and passionate fisherman, Dr. Backus spent many hours in the outdoors and was interested in and knowledgeable about all aspects of the natural world. An amateur photographer, his pictures reflect his love for family, friends and nature. He was pre-deceased by his wife Harriet in 1966. He leaves two sons, Robert Allison Backus of Manchester NH and Richard Clark Backus of New York City; two daughters, Anne Backus, DDS of Durango Colorado, and Jane Bragg of Bangor; a son-in-law Frank Bragg MD; and a daughter-in- law Dottie Barwis; and 10 grandchildren: Jennifer, Allison, Timothy and Emily Bragg, Barbara Ellen and Rebekah Hartzog, Gillian, Brad, Lael and Fred Backus, all of whom he was very proud and whom he loved dearly. A summer memorial service will be held in Goffstown NH. Gifts in his memory may be sent to the Goffstown Salvation Army, First Bank of NH, 11 Church Street, Goffstown, NH 03045. Arrangement by Brookings-Smith, Bangor.
Children of Richard A. & Harriet E. (Wright) Backus:
1. Robert Allison Backus, b. in Goffstown NH, first child; He prepared at Holderness School, and graduated from Wesleyan University and Harvard Law School. Attorney in Manchester NH.
2. Anne Backus
3. Jane Backus; m. Frank Bragg, M.D. Children: Jennifer Allison, Timothy and Emily Bragg.
4. Richard Clark Backus, b. 28 March 1945 in Goffstown NH, son of Richard A. Backus, Harriet E. Wright, fourth child. He has been married to Sharon Romeyko since January 27, 1985. Subject of this story.

This entry was posted in History, New Hampshire Entertainers, New Hampshire Men and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Goffstown New Hampshire’s Actor and Writer: Richard Clark Backus (1945-Still Living)

  1. Ruth Ann Welch Dugan says:

    Dr.Backus was the person that found me a home and two great parents . I was left at Grasmere Hospital, and left up for adoption . I owe him alot, and I’m sure there is others .

Leave a Reply