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Updated: May 24, 2024

This cute young actress played memorable supporting roles in the TV show "The Danny Thomas Show" ( 1957-1964 ), in the film The Sound of Music ( 1965 ), and in the TV show "Lost in Space" ( 1965-1968 ), always displaying a charming sincerity and a dignified intelligence TV Star, Movie Star, and Songbird. Angela was born in 1952 so at the end of the '60's she was just barely eighteen. Her exotic birthplace: Altrincham, England, some twenty miles east of Liverpool.

Angela Cartwright's '60's career spanned most of the decade and covered movies, TV, and music. Though she was never a trend-setter, a lead, or a "love interest" in any of her roles, she was always a warm, wholesome, welcome personality in any project she undertook. In 64 she had to be excused from the last episode of "Danny Thomas" so she could film The Sound of Music in 65 the Oscar-winning classic took her to Austria and made a singin' Von Trapp out of her.

Next came three years "Lost in Space" in 65-68, with Angela as the youngest daughter of parents John and Maureen Robinson, played by Guy Williams and June Lockhart; her older sister on the show was played by another Swingin' Chick of the 60's, Marta Kristen. Unfortunately, Angela had prominent screentime in only about 10% of the "Lost in Space" episodes; aliens, the Robot, and the pusillanimous Dr. Smith dominated this TV universe. Perhaps her most memorable episode was "The Magic Mirror," sending Angela through a mirror into a fantasy world, a la Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass. Though she was underused, Angela was still an important ingredient in the "Lost in Space" recipe. Because this amiable space fantasy was a family show, or, more accurately, a kids' show it came on at 7:30 PM her role as Penny was vital for the show's creators. Whoever played Penny had to be someone kids could identify with, respect, and really like; already popular from other shows and movies, Angela was the perfect choice ( the same strategy applied to the character of Will Robinson, of course, which is why all-American squirt Billy Mumy, a freckle-faced ten-year-old who already had fifty film and TV roles on his resume, got that part ).

Her career almost spanned the entire decade, taking her from early TV success to one of the biggest movies of the decade and back to TV, only slowing down at the end of the '60's. Born in '52, Angela made her professional debut at age three as a child model. Four years later she was in the '56 boxing flick Somebody Up There Likes Me with a coupla mugs named Paul Newman and Steve McQueen. Playing Linda Williams, she joined the cast of "The Danny Thomas Show" in '57, the year when the four-year-old series changed its title from "Make Room for Daddy." Her slight list of post-'60's movies included Beyond the Poseidon Adventure in 79. She also made a cameo appearance in the '98 Lost in Space movie, and in that film her "Penny" role was played by sixteen-year-old Southern actress Lacey Chabert, whose performance brought a Young Artist Award nomination. The film, though, was nominated for a Razzie Award as the Worst Remake of the Year. Angela played one of the reporters in the movie, alongside her "Lost in Space" sister, Marta Kristen in most "Lost in Space" episodes, when she should've been at her dramatic peak, she barely said anything, which suggests she was severely underused. On the plus side, the girl could sing, dance, and act at the same time, as The Sound of Music proved; she even released a record album as a pre-teen, Angela Cartwright Sings, and she was billed as "America's Little Sweetheart."

On "Lost in Space," the other young Robinson, Marta Kristen as sister Judy, had the parabolas to properly fill out the aluminum-foil outfit of the show's first season. Angela didn't become a spaceboy's dream until the Robinsons broke out the groovy velour suits in the last season; Angela has said that as she got taller and taller on the show, they stopped putting her in velour pants suits and switched her to minis; no matter what she wore, she was always a friendly find on the TV dial, and today, her teen cuteness has blossomed into adult beauty.

Thankfully Angela was too young and too smart for the obligatory 60's drug busts and the broken relationship with a '60's rock star, which is all good news for our Penny. Instead, her remarkable childhood was filled with travel, friends, and lots of camera time. As an adult, she married Steve Gullion and with him she ran a gift boutique in L.A. called Rubber Boots. Their 90's storefront is now an online site,

She's the younger sister of Veronica Cartright, the short-haired girl who got munched in Alien ... when Angela was on "The Danny Thomas Show," other stars who made appearances on the show included William Demarest, who would later play gruff Uncle Charley on "My Three Sons," Gale Gordon, who would play Mr. Mooney on "Here's Lucy," and long-time actor Hans Conreid ... "The Danny Thomas Show" was the first TV series to have a spin-off in one episode Danny gets pulled over by Sheriff Andy Taylor while driving through Mayberry, and thus was born "The Andy Griffith Show" ... the theme song for "The Danny Thomas Show" was the old traditional Irish song called "Danny Boy".

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