January 27, 2012

Remembering Dick Tufeld, Voice of the Lost In Space Robot

Adi Robertson, writing for The Verge:

“The man responsible for voicing such iconic phrases as “Danger, Will Robinson!” and “That does not compute” has passed away at age 85. Dick Tufeld gave voice to the Class M-3 Model B9 General Utility Non-Theorizing Environmental Control Robot, better known as The Robot, on 1960s TV show Lost in Space, warning the Robinson clan, particularly the youngest Robinson child Will, of threats from aliens or the villainous Dr. Smith.”

Lost In Space was my favorite TV show in third grade. That would have been around 1974. I’ll bet I saw every episode twice in syndication, some more than that. My infatuation with it waned after a year or so, probably during the summer between third and fourth grade. By the following year I was onto other things. My Star Trek days were still ahead of me.

The show’s characters and situations stuck with me, though, as they’ve apparently stuck with many people. I even enjoyed the widely panned Lost In Space feature film, especially Gary Oldman’s turn as the iconic Doctor Smith. The film robot didn’t hold a candle to the TV version, though Dick Tufeld was the voice of it, as well.

Interestingly, Lost In Space was the last acting job for Guy Williams, who played the part of John Robinson. He retired to Argentina when the show was cancelled. He passed away in 1989.