Mark Goddard, an actor best known for playing Major Don West in the 1960s television show “Lost in Space,” has died. He was 87.
He died Tuesday in Hingham, Massachusetts, of pulmonary fibrosis, his son told John The New York Times.
Bill Mumy, who played Will Robinson on “Lost In Space,” wrote a tribute to his “beloved friend and brother” for 59 years on Facebook. Mumy said he spoke to Goddard on his birthday in July and realized he’d likely never see or speak to him again.
“Mark was a truly fine actor. Naturally gifted as well as trained. I know he sometimes felt constricted by the campy frame that LIS constrained him within, but he also embraced and loved it,” Mumy wrote. “There’s a part of me that envisions him having a martini in Heaven right now with Jonathan Harris, Kevin Burns, Guy Williams and other comrades who left this world of woe before him.”
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In the show, which ran from 1965 to 1968 on CBS, Goddard’s character was the pilot of the Jupiter 2 carrying the Robinson family on a mission to colonize space. He wote a memoir in 2008 memoir called “To Space and Back.”
Goddard was born on July 24, 1936, Charles Harvey Goddard in Lowell, Massachusetts. He left college in his junior year, in 1958, to pursue acting, putting himself through the American Academy of Dramatic Arts by working evenings at Woolworths.
When he made it to Hollywood, he appeared on an episode of “The Rifleman” and in a Dick Powell-directed television movie “Woman on the Run,” starring Joan Crawford. He also had roles on “Johnny Ringo,” “The Detectives” and appeared in “The Beverly Hillbillies” and “Perry Mason.”
He would go on to make a cameo in the 1998 reboot of “Lost In Space,” in which Matt LeBlanc played the role he originated.
Later in life he’d go back to graduate from college and earn a master’s degree in education, serving as a special education teacher in Massachusetts for two decades.
Goddard is survived by his wife Evelyn Pezzulich and children.