Danger, Will Robinson! In a creative 1960s sitcom, that phrase became the warning people always heard when danger was close. The Lost in Space cast came up with a lot of jokes and references that have stuck around for decades. But what about the people in the cast?
Americans were looking up at the stars when Lost in Space came out. It was the height of the Space Race, and all of a sudden, anything seemed possible. They thought that maybe, in their lifetimes, everyone would be able to talk to a robot as they sailed through the night sky. Lost in Space showed the change from black-and-white to color at the same time that its characters dreamed that history was being made. Here, you can learn more about the people who made this show one of the best in TV history.
Guy Williams plays Dr. John Robinson, the family patriarch, who is a commander, pilot, and astrophysicist who specializes in applied planetary geology. June Lockhart, who played Lassie on TV, plays Dr. Maureen Robinson, John’s wife, and a biochemist. She is a typical housewife and mother of the time, except that she lives in space. Mark Goddard plays Major Don West, the military pilot of the Jupiter 2 spaceship. Marta Kristen plays Judy Robot was there to help the Robinsons, and he and Will and Smith often went on silly adventures together.
Guy Williams (John Robinson)
Professor John Robinson was good at many things, like planetary geology, astrophysics, and even flying a jet pack. But the crazy Dr. Smith often took the spotlight away from the Robinson patriarch. But no one could deny that Guy Williams’ character was a very important leader in the Lost in Space cast as a whole.
June Lockhart (Maureen Robinson)
When the Robinson family gets lost in space, each episode is a crazy mishap. Their whole lives get turned on their heads. Dr. Maureen Robinson was a strong source of support, compassion, and reason for them. In addition to having a strong background in biochemistry, she also learned how to cook and garden well. They were lucky to have her with them on their trips.
Similarly, the cast of Lost in Space got a very well-known actress. June Lockhart had already won a Tony Award and been nominated for two Emmys before she joined Jupiter 2. She was born in 1925, and in 1946, the movie She-Wolf of London made her a star.
But one of her most famous roles was as Ruth Martin, Timmy’s mother, in the 1950s TV show Lassie, which was about a girl coming of age. Since then, she has kept going strong, getting parts on shows like Petticoat Junction, Grey’s Anatomy, and Roseanne.
June Lockhart has become a star after traveling among them, and she has helped other people reach their dreams, too. Dr. Maureen Robinson got real astronauts interested in their work. She has become such a powerful person that NASA has made her an honorary groupie. She also says that she has always been welcome to attend press briefings at the White House.
She brought some of that beauty from the heavens to earth by getting not one, but two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. On June 25, 2022, she turned 97, and guess what? She is still busy and bright!
Mark Goddard (Don West)
Even a ship in space needs a captain. Major Don West came into play at this point. Almost. His main job was to make sure that the Robinsons didn’t get lost in space, but viewers know how that turned out. But he made Judy Robinson like the trip a little less. Mark Goddard’s career was a bit bumpy, as the life of his character, but he did have some wins in the end.
He worked with Aaron Spelling on Spelling’s first TV show, Johnny Ringo, as the main character’s deputy. On the crime show The Detectives, he played Sgt. Chris Ballard, which is still one of his best-known roles.
Goddard’s career slowed down a bit after the cast of Lost in Space broke up. One of the most memorable things he did was in a touching episode of CHiPs. Other than that, he didn’t do much until he made a cameo in 1998 Lost in Space movie. He also got a degree in education and now teaches acting to people with special needs.
Goddard’s connection to Lost in Space turned out to be complicated and nuanced. He didn’t like how campy the show could get at the time. Actors like Robert Reed can be seen to feel this way about The Brady Bunch. But he grew to like what the show did for viewers and wrote about it in his memoir, To Space and Back, which came out in 2009. He said, “It takes you back to a good time in your life for most people and a not-so-good time for some, but at least they have Lost in Space to dream about.”
Jonathan Harris (Zachary Smith)
If Dr. Zachary Smith hadn’t been a character in Lost in Space, none of what happened in the story would have happened. His plans put the Robinson family on a crash course through space from the start and kept giving them trouble. Smith and the robot often got into fights, but if anyone was a “Treasonous Transistorized Toad,” it was Smith.
Jonathan Harris was the real person behind the character of Dr. Smith, and he loved his job on Jupiter 2. He was one of the first actors to be called a “Special Guest Star” because of how hard he worked. Harris worried the whole time that people might get tired of his character.
So, he worked hard, even late into the night, to come up with new ways to keep Smtih interesting. His comedic timing got so good that many of his best lines were made up on the spot.
Harris played a coward in The Third Man before he joined the cast of Lost in Space. He was an unwilling host on Uncle Croc’s Block in the 1970s. Soon, he switched from acting in real-life scenes to doing voice work. Any kids who didn’t see him on Uncle Croc’s Block probably saw him in Pixar’s A Bug’s Life as Manny the praying mantis. He even put in an easter egg from Lost in Space with the line “Oh, the pain!” Even though he died in 2002 at age 87, we’ll always remember the bad doctor.
Marta Kristen (Judy Robinson)
Judith Robinson had a lot to look forward to in life as the oldest daughter. So, when her family ended up going on a strange space trip, she was very upset at first. The shy girl’s dream was to become an actress, but she had to give up that dream for a while because she had to go to the stars. Lucky for them, Major Don West helped keep people from paying too much attention to what was going on.
In the same way, actress Marta Kristen went through her changes. Kristen began her journey as an orphan in war-torn Europe. By the end of it, she was a TV star. She says, “I was from Norway.” “When I was five, I was adopted.
My adopted parents, who were teachers, would drive me to the studio at 5:30 or 6:00 in the morning, and I would think, “Here I am. I grew up without a family, but now I’m in show business. I’m going to 20th Century Fox to visit the set.
I can’t believe how lucky I am. Then I’d get there and everyone would be so nice to me. It was like a dream. I just couldn’t believe I was in that situation because I’d always wanted to act. My mother said that I walked like Charlie Chaplin when I got off the plane in Norway and when they picked me up in New York.
Dick Tufeld (voice of The Robot)
Will’s trusted metal friend, the Robot, said over and over again, “Warning, warning, danger, Will Robinson!” The Robot’s clever insults to Mr. Smith set the stage for how fans would insult each other for years to come. Bringing the Robot to life was a team effort. Bob May did the movements, and Dick Tufeld, a comedic genius, did the lines.
Tufeld spent most of his career being heard but not seen. He worked with the creator of the Lost in Space show, Irwin Allen, on other projects like Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and The Time Tunnel. Tufeld was the announcer for both of these shows. When Tufeld went to an event at Syracuse University, he finally saw how important his character was. When the B9 robot from Lost in Space was brought out, he got a standing ovation. That doesn’t make sense! And the sad news that Tufeld died in 2012 at the age of 85 doesn’t help either. Rest in peace.
Do you remember how great this show was? Which one was your favourite? Tell us in the comments—we read them all and want to know what you think!
Angela Cartwright (Penny Robinson)
Who has seen Penny? What about that thing that goes bloop? Penny Robinson was able to connect with a lot of younger viewers because she had a wild imagination and cared about animals just as much. That’s probably why she didn’t think twice about taking care of an alien chimpanzee that talks by blooping.
Young Angela Cartwright got her start on The Danny Thomas Show, but 1965 was a big year for her career. She played Brigitta in The Sound of Music, and then she got a part in Lost in Space. Even after the series was over, Cartwright stuck with this important franchise in all of its forms. In the movie, she played a reporter, and in Netflix’s remade show, she was the evil Dr. Smith’s mother. She is now a photographer with her own website and stays behind the camera. Angela is 69.