“Lost in Space” actor Bob May dies
In this file photo showing the crew from the original cast of the television series “Lost in Space” pose for a group portrait with the shows’ robot in Boston in this Saturday, Dec. 2, 1995 file photo. From left in the back row are: Bob May, Bill Mumy, Mark Goddard, Jonathan Harris; in the front row from left: June Lockhart, Marta Kristen, Angela Cartwright. May, whose versatile career spanned more than 40 years and was best known for playing the robot has died. He was 69. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Bob May, who donned The Robot’s suit in the hit 1960s television show “Lost in Space,” has died. He was 69.
May died Sunday of congestive heart failure at a hospital in Lancaster, said his daughter, Deborah May.
He was a veteran actor and stuntman who had appeared in movies, TV shows and on the vaudeville stage when he was tapped by “Lost in Space” creator Irwin Allen to play the Robinson family’s loyal metal sidekick in the series that debuted in 1965.
“He always said he got the job because he fit in the robot suit,” said June Lockhart, who played family matriarch Maureen Robinson. “It was one of those wonderful Hollywood stories. He just happened to be on the studio lot when someone saw him and sent him to see Irwin Allen about the part. Allen said, ‘If you can fit in the suit, you’ve got the job.”‘
Although May didn’t provide the robot’s distinctive voice (that was done by announcer Dick Tufeld), he developed a following of fans who sought him out at memorabilia shows.
“Lost in Space” was a space-age retelling of “The Swiss Family Robinson” story in which professor John Robinson, his wife and their children were on a space mission when their craft was knocked hopelessly off course by the evil Dr. Zachary Smith, who became trapped in space with them.
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