Goddard at Western Film Fair in July 2006
|Born||Charles Harvey Goddard
July 24, 1936
Lowell, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Evelyn Pezzulich (1990-present); 1 son
Susan Anspach (1970-78; divorced); 1 daughter, 1 son
Marcia Rogers (1960-68; divorced)
Mark Goddard (born Charles Harvey Goddard; July 24, 1936) is an American actor who has starred in a number of television programs. He is probably best known for portraying Major Don West, the adversary of Dr. Zachary Smith (played by Jonathan Harris), in the iconic CBS television series, Lost in Space (1965-68). He also played young Detective Sgt. Chris Ballard on The Detectives starring Robert Taylor.
He led both his high school baseball and basketball teams to the state championship finals. Goddard dreamed of becoming a basketball player but eventually turned to acting. He originally attended Holy Cross College after high school, but he then transferred and studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. After two years, he moved to Los Angeles, California.
Early acting career
In 1959, after just three weeks in Hollywood, he landed a role in the CBS Four Star Television series Johnny Ringo, having played the character of Cully, the deputy, to Don Durant's character of Ringo, and Karen Sharpe's Laura Thomas, the girlfriend of Ringo. At this time, he changed his name to Mark Goddard at the suggestion of his friend and mentor, Chuck Connors of ABC's The Rifleman. Goddard appeared as Norman Tabor in the 1960 episode "Surprise Party" of the CBS anthology series The DuPont Show with June Allyson. He was cast as Sheldon Hollingsworth in the 1960 episode "To See the Elephant" of the ABC western series, The Rebel, starring Nick Adams. He played Tod Rowland in the 1960 episode "The Mormons" on CBS's Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater.
Goddard was also signed for a role lasting three years and sixty-four episodes in The Detectives, another series produced by Four Star Television. The Detectives was a hit series which ran on ABC and NBC from 1958-61. In 1963, Goddard appeared as Roy Mooney on CBS's Perry Mason episode 180, "The Case of the Potted Planter".
In 1965, he played Lester Crawford in "The Case of the Frustrated Folk Singer." He also appeared with Keir Dullea as sparring college roommates in an episode of ABC's drama series Channing, costarring Jason Evers and Henry Jones. He was featured in the 1965 film A Rage to Live, starring Suzanne Pleshette. From 1964-65, Goddard starred in another one-season CBS series, Many Happy Returns, in which he portrayed Bob Randall, the young husband of Joan Randall, played by Elinor Donahue, formerly of Father Knows Best and The Andy Griffith Show.
Lost in Space
Goddard's next role was for the three seasons of Lost in Space (1965–68), in which he played Major Don West. There were two pilots shot for the CBS series. The original 1965 pilot was much different from the pilot that aired and the episodes that followed in the actual series. There was a blossoming romance between Don West and Judy, the elder daughter of the Robinson family, but it did not extend further than the first season. By the middle of the second season, the show took on a more comic tone.
Plots increasingly drew on the mishaps of Dr. Zachary Smith (Jonathan Harris) and his friends who could always be counted upon to save him and all of the inhabitants of the Jupiter II — The Robot (animated by Bob May, voiced by Dick Tufeld) and Will Robinson (Bill Mumy), the youngest of the three Robinson children. Castmates included Guy Williams, the former star of Zorro (1957–59), as Professor John Robinson and the credited star of the series; June Lockhart, the former star of Lassie (1959–64), as Dr. Maureen Robinson; Marta Kristen as elder daughter Judy Robinson; and Angela Cartwright (as one of the von Trapp children in the 1965 Best Picture Academy Award® winner, the beloved The Sound of Music; as well as in the last seven seasons of the classic 1953-64 Danny Thomas sitcom Make Room for Daddy), as younger daughter Penny Robinson.
Goddard's on- and off-screen chemistry with Jonathan Harris had been remarkable. After Goddard's best-known role on Space, Goddard remained very close to Harris. On June 14, 1995, he and the rest of the cast paid tribute to producer Irwin Allen, who had died late in 1991. On October 16, 1997, (the same day the show's fictional Jupiter II spaceship departed in the original episode), Goddard and the rest of the surviving Lost in Space cast also appeared on the inside cover of "TV Guide," to promote the new Lost in Space feature film. At the same time, the Sci-Fi Channel had planned to do a Lost in Space marathon, according to the network. Goddard was grief-stricken when, on November 3, 2002, his mentor and friend of more than 35 years, Harris, died. He, along with Harris and the rest of his cast, were planning for the movie to air on NBC, Lost in Space: The Journey Home, which never came to fruition. (Original star Guy Williams had long since retired from acting, moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina, and had passed away, pre-deceasing Harris.)
Later acting career
Goddard guest starred on three ABC series, The Fugitive, The Mod Squad and The Fall Guy and for a while, moonlighted as a Hollywood agent. In 1976, he starred as politician Edward Fleming in the movie Blue Sunshine. In 1970, Goddard co-starred opposite Kent McCord, and Martin Milner, in a poignant episode of the NBC police drama Adam-12, in which he plays a friend of Pete Malloy (Milner) who is killed in the line of duty. The episode was entitled "Elegy for a Pig" (so titled and announced by Jack Webb himself).
Goddard played a support role in a first-season episode of NBC's Quincy M.E. as an attorney.
In 1979, Goddard was in the disco rollerskating movie Roller Boogie featuring Linda Blair and Jim Bray. Goddard starred as Ted Clayton on One Life to Live and Lt. Paul Reed on The Doctors. Later, Goddard starred as 'Derek Barrington' on General Hospital. He made a cameo appearance in the reboot film Lost in Space (1998), as the general in charge of the Jupiter Mission, and superior officer to his own former character, Major Don West.
Goddard finished college 30 years after beginning his studies and thereafter received his master's degree in education from Bridgewater State College. From 1991 through at least 2009 he served as a special education teacher at the F. L. Chamberlain School in Middleboro, Massachusetts, where he taught an acting class. In 2009, he released an autobiographical memoir, To Space and Back. While at Bridgewater State College, he met his future wife, English professor Evelyn Pezzulich. The couple has one child, John. He has two children by his second marriage, to actress Susan Anspach.
- Excerpt from Mark Goddard's autobiography, books.google.com; accessed November 21, 2015.
- Mark Goddard on IMDb
- Beifuss, John (March 22, 2012). "'Lost in Space' duo remember '60s sci-fi at MidSouthCon 30". Memphis Commercial Appeal. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
- Mark Goddard at the Internet Broadway Database
- "Swope Image 222985". New York Public Library; Billy Rose Theatre Division. Retrieved March 16, 2015.
- Pond, Neil. "Lost In Space Cast: Where Are They Now?". Parade. Retrieved 2017-01-16.
- Alspach, Kyle (November 29, 2008). ""Lost In Space" star finds meaning teaching kids in Middleboro". The Enterprise. Retrieved March 16, 2015.