Vale: Mark Goddard

Vale: Mark Goddard

US actor Mark Goddard, best known for Lost in Space, has died aged 87.

He died on Tuesday in Massachusetts of pulmonary fibrosis.

Goddard played Major Don West, the hot-tempered pilot of the Jupiter 2, on Lost in Space from 1965–1968.

Lost in Space lasted 83 episodes over three seasons. Goddard’s character enjoyed a blossoming romance with Judy (Marta Kristen), but feuded with Dr. Smith (Jonathan Harris) and, like everyone else on the show, was upstaged by the robot (Bob May / Dick Tufeld).

Initially he had ben reluctant to sign onto the series produced by Irwin Allen.

“I said, ‘Gee, I don’t know, I’m not sure, because of the subject matter.’ And (Goddard’s agent) said, ‘Well, listen, you just do it and don’t worry about it. Take the money. Because nobody’s gonna see it and it’ll never sell.’”

The series, inspired by the 1812 novel The Swiss Family Robinson, would go on to become a syndication favourite, spawning movies, reboots, merchandise and fan clubs and conventions.

He had previously appeared in western series Johnny Ringo, The Detectives, Many Happy Returns plus roles in The Beverly Hillbillies, Burke’s Law, The Rifleman, The Virginian, Gunsmoke, Perry Mason, The Fugitive, Perry Mason and telemovie Woman on the Run with Joan Crawford.

After Lost in Space, Goddard said he was typecast as a “space show” actor. He worked on soap operas One Life to Live and General Hospital and guest-starred on such shows as Petrocelli, The Streets of San Francisco, Benson, Barnaby Jones, BJ & the Bear, Quincy ME and The Fall Guy.

He had a cameo in the 1998 Lost in Space feature adaptation in which Matt LeBlanc featured as Don West.

On Facebook, Mumy called Goddard “a truly fine actor … naturally gifted as well as trained” and noted that they “had a lot of great memorable times together during the three years of filming the series. We got into some pretty goofy trouble.”

His final credit is a table read for a DVD of a script penned by Bill Mumy providing a conclusion, of sorts to the series, Lost in Space: The Epilogue.

Source: Hollywood Reporter