Bob May, the actor who played the Robot in the 1969s series Lost In Space has died of congestive heart failure in LA at the age of 69.
"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.'
"He was a smoker," she added. "From time to time (when he was on a break) we'd see smoke coming out of the robot. That always amused us."
May didn’t voice the robot – that was provided by Dick Tufeld – but he was always fond of his involvement in the show, calling the suit his "home away from home". And he would learn all the Robot’s lines so that he knew how he should be interacting with the other characters.
The grandson of famed vaudeville comedian Chic Johnson, May was introduced to show business at age two when he began appearing in the Hellzapoppin comedy revue with Johnson and his partner, Ole Olsen. He went on to appear in numerous films with Jerry Lewis and in such TV shows as The Time Tunnel, McHale's Navy and The Red Skelton Show.