posted on Nov, 9 2002 @ 02:37 PM
'Lost in Space' villain Jonathan Harris dies at 87
Mon Nov 4, 8:22 PM ET
By ANTHONY BREZNICAN, AP Entertainment Writer
LOS ANGELES - Jonathan Harris, the flamboyantly fussy actor who portrayed the dastardly, cowardly antagonist Dr. Zachary Smith on the 1960's
science-fiction television show "Lost in Space," has died. He was 87.
Harris died Sunday from a blood clot in his heart while receiving therapy at an Encino-area hospital for a chronic back problem, family spokesman
Kevin J. Burns said Monday.
Born Jonathan Charasuchin in New York's Bronx to Russian-Jewish immigrant parents, Harris adopted the stage persona of a classically trained British
actor with his grandiloquent accent, crisp enunciation and professorial manner.
When people would ask him if he was from England, Harris would confess: "'Oh no, my dear, just affected,'" said Burns, a longtime friend and
director of the 1998 documentary "Lost in Space Forever."
Harris also worked with Pixar Animation Studios in recent years, supplying the voice of Manny the preying-mantis magician in "A Bug's Life" and the
elderly doll repairman in "Toy Story 2."
"Lost in Space," which ran on CBS from 1965 to 1968, was a sci-fi takeoff on the "Swiss Family Robinson" story in which the castaway clan was
trapped amid the uncharted fathoms of space instead of on a deserted island.
Harris' character, Dr. Smith, was a saboteur who caused the Robinson family's ship, Jupiter II, to fly off course ó but he also found himself
trapped with them in the craft.
BV'ers, I met Jonathan Harris at many of the Chiller Theatre Shows I worked for Kevin Clement in NJ. Mr. Harris was warm, classy, and very
professional unlike the current trash we have to put up with...
Although he disagreed with me over the fact Elia Kazan was honoured by the Academy due to his Naming Names before HUAC, he could make you feel like a
welcome person in his presence....
He could keep a crowd of keep enthralled with his tales of Lost In Space, The Bill Dana Show, and The Third Man with the late Michael Rennie...
No matter what those Trekkie Nerds think of Lost In Space, John WILL BE MISSED !