Mark Goddard, the actor renowned for his portrayal of Maj. Don West in the iconic 1960s science fiction series ‘Lost in Space,’ has passed away at the age of 87 due to pulmonary fibrosis. Here’s what you need to know about this beloved actor’s life and career.
A Farewell to a Sci-Fi Icon
Mark Goddard, best known for his role as Major Don West in ‘Lost in Space,’ breathed his last on Tuesday, succumbing to pulmonary fibrosis. His wife, Evelyn Pezzluich, shared this sad news on Facebook, revealing that he was at a hospice center in Hingham, Massachusetts.
Goddard’s health deteriorated rapidly, having been hospitalized for pneumonia shortly after celebrating his 87th birthday. He was then transferred to a rehabilitation center, where doctors discovered the advanced stage of pulmonary fibrosis that would ultimately claim his life.
Lost in Space: A Sci-Fi Classic
For three remarkable seasons from 1965 to 1968, Mark Goddard embodied the character of Don West, a part of the Robinson family aboard the Jupiter 2 spacecraft. The series, created by the legendary producer Irwin Allen, followed the adventures of this spacefaring family, their trusty robot, and the conniving Dr. Smith. The premise revolved around their unplanned landing on a distant planet when their journey to colonize the Alpha Centauri system went awry.
The show not only left an indelible mark on sci-fi history but also popularized the iconic catchphrase, "danger, Will Robinson."
Unveiling Goddard’s Career
Although Mark Goddard initially hesitated to join the ‘Lost in Space’ cast, his portrayal of Don West contributed significantly to the series’ eventual cult classic status. "I didn’t want to do it," he confessed in 1990. His uncertainty stemmed from the fact that he had never ventured into the science fiction genre and was unsure of what to expect.
Beyond ‘Lost in Space,’ Goddard’s career included appearances in various films during the 1960s, such as "The Monkey’s Uncle" and "A Rage to Live." After the show concluded, he became a familiar face on popular TV series like "Mod Squad" and "The Streets of San Francisco." Additionally, he showcased his versatility by working on soap operas, making appearances in "One Life to Live" and "General Hospital." In 1977, he took on a role in the horror film "Blue Sunshine."
Fond Farewell from a Co-Star
In a heartfelt tribute, his ‘Lost in Space’ co-star, Bill Mumy, took to Facebook to say goodbye: "R.I.P. to Mark Goddard. A truly beloved friend and brother to me for 59 years. I knew this was coming for the past few months. Shortly after a great phone chat he and I had on his 87th birthday in late July, I became aware that I would most likely never see or speak with him again. The last words we exchanged were ‘I love you.’"
A Life in Brief
Mark Goddard, born as Charles Harvey Goddard in Lowell, Massachusetts, on July 24, 1936, was the youngest of five children. His formative years unfolded in Scituate, Massachusetts, where his parents ran a local five-and-dime store. Goddard’s initial dream was a career in professional basketball, but after a fateful acting role in 1957, he set his sights on the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York.
In 1959, he landed in Los Angeles, where his acting career took off with roles in TV series like "Perry Mason," "The Rifleman," and "The Beverly Hillbillies."
Mark Goddard’s contributions to the world of entertainment will always be remembered, and he leaves behind a legacy that continues to inspire future generations of actors.
Mark Goddard dead: Star of ‘Lost in Space’ was 87, but his influence and memory will remain timeless.
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