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Marta Kristen Confirms the Rumors About Lost in Space Cast

Almost six decades ago, audiences were first introduced to the Robinson family in the campy yet endearing science fiction series Lost In Space. The show premiered in 1965 and ran until 1968. In November of 2021, for the first time since the series ended, actress Marta Kristen along with her co-stars Angela Cartwright and Bill Mumy, reunited in costume to promote an auction called Monsters & Friends: Featuring the Kevin Burns Collection with Heritage Auctions.

The event happened shortly after Cartwright and Mumy teamed up to put out a book titled Lost (and Found) in Space2: Blast Off Into the Expanded Edition. The memoir featured close to a thousand photos from the set of the iconic series, including more than 600 newly discovered images that were hand-selected by the veteran TV stars.

Right around the time of the Heritage Auctions event, Marta Kristen gave an interview with Fox News in which she opened up about how she landed the role of Judy Robinson. She further discussed what her fellow castmates were really like and how she managed to cope with the show’s ending. The interview was quite informative, and for the first time in close to 60 years, we learned several never-before-heard details about what it was like to be a part of the Lost in Space Cast.

If you’re a fan of Lost in Space and Marta Kristen, keep watching to learn what the 77-year-old Norwegian-born actress had to say about her time playing Judy Robinson. We’ll recap that interview with Fox and see what Lost in Space rumors Kristen confirmed throughout it. We’ll also be taking some time to discuss several other fascinating details about the show and how it still manages to capture our imaginations all these years later.

How Marta Kristen Was Cast As Judy

Marta Kristen was born in Oslo, Norway, on February 26, 1945. Her father was a German soldier who sadly was killed during the Second World War. She spent the first several years of her life in a Norwegian orphanage before being adopted in 1949 by a couple from Detroit.

Her adoptive father, Harold Oliver Soderquist, was a professor of education at Wayne University. In 1959, while her dad was on sabbatical, Kristen moved to Los Angeles, California. She remained in LA with a guardian and ended up graduating from Santa Monica High School.

Before earning her High School diploma, Marta was discovered at a restaurant by James Harris, the producer of the film Lolita. He wanted her to play the lead role in his controversial film, but since she was just 15 at the time, her parents forbid her from doing so.

Despite the fact that she had to turn down his offer, Harris saw something within her that resonated with him. He must have known that she had potential, because he ended up getting her an agent. Through that agency, she started working in a number of hit television shows. Notably, her first appearance was in a 1961 episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents alongside her future Lost in Space co-star Billy Mumy.

In 1963, she starred with Tony Down in an episode of The Eleventh Hour titled Four Feet In The Morning. That same year, she appeared in her first film role in Walt Disney’s Savage Sam.

When it came time to cast Judy Robinson in Lost in Space, the show’s creator Irwin Allen had already set his sights on Kristen. At first, however, Marta wasn’t quite sure that she wanted to do the show. She told Fox that she ended up mulling over the prospect of appearing in the series for a full two weeks before finally agreeing to do it.

When asked what made her hesitate about taking the role, Kristen replied by stating that at the time, it was her desire to go out to New York and do theater. She went on to explain that theater was always her first love.

When expressing her hesitation to take the Lost in Space role, the people around her apparently thought she was crazy for not immediately jumping at it. They told her that such a golden opportunity doesn’t come around every day and that if she took it, not only would it make her career, but it just might make television history as well.

Even though Judy’s role was diminished because of that fact that the show’s stories often centered around Dr. Smith and the Robot, Kristen said that it was still a wonderful show to do. She explained to Fox that she especially appreciated the show’s themes, which frequently revolved around family, survival, and people working together.

And even when there were episodes about monsters and other fantastic things such as giant carrots, there was always an underlying tenderness that kept the narrative going.

“It was something we all admired and needed in our lives”, Kristen revealed in her sit-down session with the Rupert Murdoch-owned news outlet.

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Kristen Screen Tested For A Role In The Sound Of Music

The Sound of Music hit theaters in 1965. The musical drama film was directed and produced by Robert Wise and starred Julie Andrews, Richard Haydn, Peggy Wood, Christopher Plummer, Eleanor Parker, and Charmian Carr.

Anglea Cartwright also made an appearance in the film as the character Brigitta von Trap. Marta Kristen had screen tested for a part in the film that would have seen her reunited onscreen with her Lost in Space castmate, but she was told that she was too sexy for the role.

Kristen told Fox that she never saw herself as sexy and that she instead thought of herself as merely being a Norwegian Midwesterner.

She Thought Her Judy Robinson Character Was Underused

When asked by Fox what she would have done differently if she had the chance to rewrite her Lost in Space character, Kristen explained that she would have liked to have seen Judy walking around and quoting Shakespeare – something that she always did as a young child.

As previously mentioned, theater was one of Kristen’s first loves. She always wanted to be on stage and started reading Shakespeare at a young age. She was evidently particularly fond of Macbeth.

Kristen would have also liked to have seen Judy’s relationship with Major West, played by Mark Goddard, to have been developed more than it was. She thinks that that relationship dynamic could have been more important within the context of her small TV family and the social changes that were taking place in the 1960s.

She Loved Her Cast Members Deeply

When asked what her relationship was like with the rest of the Lost In Space cast, Kristen said that she loved each and every one of them. She noted that Guy Williams was a ‘great gentleman’ and an excellent music teacher.

Kristen reminisced about how Williams always had classical music coming out of his dressing room and that June Lockhart taught her how to play Scrabble. Kristen went on to call Lockhart an ‘extraordinary woman’ who was quite accomplished.

Jonathan Harris taught her the value of having respect for everyone on set, both cast and crew. He also taught her that the best way to show your love to your workmates in show business was by showing up on time, knowing your lines, and not wasting anyone’s time.

Kristen described Bill Mumy and Angela Cartwright as being ‘the sweetest’. She introduced Bill to Bob Dylan and would often sing his songs with him.

Discussing her relationship with Mark Goddard, Kristen described him as someone that was always able to make her laugh until she couldn’t breathe.

All in all, Kristen said that she couldn’t have asked for a better cast. Even though they had their occasional arguments and disagreements, they treated each other like family.

A great example of this familial love was actually the last time that Kristen saw her co-star Jonathan Harris. She had just done a commercial at the time, and he came up to her, wrapped his arms around her , and while she was helping him walk, he told her that the commercial she had just done was ‘wonderful’.

Kristen and Harris remained close friends for many years after doing Lost in Space together. Throughout their friendship, he always made her feel special. After he passed away of a blood clot in 2002 at the age of 88, Kristen got the chance to really get to know his widow Gertrude whom she has described as reminding her so much of her mother. After she passed away a few years later, she ended up adopting her dog.

Throughout her time as a Lost in Space cast member, Kristen gained much from doing the show. She told Fox that she gained a sense of an ensemble – a sense of togetherness and a sense of what it’s like to work together on a set. Most of all, however, Kristen is appreciative for the lasting friendships that she made with everyone that she worked with.

How She Coped When The Show Ended

Kristen was at her house when she received a phone call informing her that Lost in Space had been canceled. At the time, she was speechless. No one knew why the show had been given the ax. It was only later on the cast learned that the series was likely canceled due to Irwin’s ongoing battle with CBS.

Irwin wasn’t giving the network the number of scripts that they demanded. Kristen recalled that they wanted six but apparently, he wasn’t able to put out that many within the time frame that they insisted upon.

Irwin had many different projects on his plate at the time. Likely, he didn’t feel like it was worth it to put up a fight. The show was doing well in the ratings, so It’s abrupt cancellation was a bit unusual. The series also had an enormous fan base, but at the end of the day, it was also a very expensive show to produce.

Although the show ended almost sixty years ago, Kristen says that she is still surprised whenever she finds out that younger people are discovering and embracing the series. By today’s standards, with the advancements in CGI and technology, Kristen thinks that Lost in Space looks simple, but the fact that people can still connect with it is something that brings her great joy.

To her, Lost In Space represents a simpler era and very important moment in time in the history of television. Even after all these years, she still looks back on those days with warmness in her heart.

We’re just about out of time for this video, but we’d love to hear from you. Were you a fan of Lost In Space? If so, what are some of your favorite memories of the series? Let us know in the comments.

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