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Updated: September 15, 2023

By Bruce Fedow:

Before Irwin Allen even had a sci-fi TV series named Lost in Space, when "Space Family Robinson" was still a pile of sketches, blueprints and story ideas, he already had June Lockhart as one of its stars, based no doubt on her flawless (by 60's standards) performances in the Lassie televison series as well as a choice role in Allen's already established Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea on ABC.

June's character Maureen Robinson was the space glue that held the Robinson family together, whether strapping on a sidearm, organizing the plastic wrapped laundry, taking a blood test for a Scottish ghost or convincing the skipper of the Jupiter-2 not to strand Dr. Smith in space forever. As the series progressed and her screen time often diminished June made every scene count, be it with a reassuring pat on the shoulder or a knowing worried glance.

In "real life" June was and is a free spirit, not at all like her televison mother persona. She often drove a vintage 1913 firetruck to the Fox sets while filming Lost in Space and exposed TV children Bill Mumy and Angela Cartwright to the wonders of rock and roll by taking them to local music clubs like the Whiskey A Go Go and bringing bands like the Hourglass Band (later the Allman Brothers) on the sets of Lost in Space.

June's career began at age eight in the Metropolitan Opera's production of "Peter Ibbetson" as Mimsey. Sadly, no reviews survive recounting this performance but if we jump ahead to 1947 Ms. Lockhart's role in "For Love or Money," again on Broadway, earns her the following awards: a Tony, Donaldson, Theatre World, and AP's Women of the Year Award.

Her screen debut was in MGM's 1938 Christmas classic "A Christmas Carol", appearing a long side her famous parents Gene and Kathleen Lockhart. The year 1946 found her starring in the horror film "She Wolf of London" and many films followed but in a wise career move June decided to concentrate on televison later in her career, playing Ruth Martin in the successful Lassie series from 1958 to 1964, enjoying an amazing run.

Barely a season later she co-starred in Lost in Space and when that was cancelled got a featured role in "Petticoat Junction." In the years following she never seemed to miss a chance to appear on television shows like "Roseanne" and films like the classic "Strange Invaders" and even a small part in the 1998 film "Lost in Space."

June continues to amaze and amuse her fans as she tours the country and the world on autograph and interview tours and don't be surprised if she pops up in a television show or movie in the near future anything less would be anti-climactic considering her career so far!

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