Bob May--Lost in Space robot

  • RSportsguy

    Posts: 1925

    Jan 19, 2009 3:22 PM GMT
    I have sad news for sci-fi fans. Bob May who played the robot in the series Lost in Space died today of heart failure. Lost in Space was one of my favorite shows growing up. (in reruns of course :winkicon_smile.gif.)


    Sorry, I think this belongs in General Discussions! My bad!
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    Jan 19, 2009 3:48 PM GMT
    As a kid, I loved this show though I had no idea why. Even then, I thought it was stupid but compellingly entertaining at the same time. I loved science and science fiction and knew that this show couldn't have been further from science and science fiction. Yet I never missed an episode.

    A guilty pleasure for sure. Bob May will be missed.
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    Jan 19, 2009 4:11 PM GMT
    OK....I remember watching Lost In Space as a kid, when it was originally first run. I always wanted then to get home. I hated how Dr. Smith always screwd them, at first on purpose and then just by a stupid series of poor decisions and cowardice. The robot was always COOL! I had one of the plastic replica robots, got it for Christmas on year. I remember always thinking how far into the future 1997 was, and always wondered how we were going to go from a "rocket" of the Apollo program to the "saucer" of the Jupiter2.
    RIP Bob May. Thanks for the memories.icon_cool.gif

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    Jan 19, 2009 4:21 PM GMT
    His cry of "Danger, Will Robinson, danger!" became an all-purpose phrase for every kind of "don't go there" situation. Although I never hear it today, another casualty of the passage of time. Over 40 years since that series began.

    That robot, BTW, was originally created for the 1956 sci-fi classic Forbidden Planet. He was "Robbie the Robot" there, and was so successful he was recycled for a few other movies, and many TV shows.

    For Lost in Space they modified him extensively, keeping only the basic torso. He got a new head, and legs that were locked together over tractor treads, whereas formerly he could walk on 2 feet. I believe a second robot was eventually built for the series, as well.

    This site doesn't allow links to pics, but click on "All About Robby" to read his history and see some photos:

    http://www.the-robotman.com/

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    Jan 19, 2009 4:42 PM GMT
    R.I.P. Bob May; he seemed like a real corker:
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    Off-Camera Gentleman( to Bob May):Don't forget to rub it gently!


    June Lockhart mentioned that Bob May was a smoker and disliked getting in and out of the B9 suit during breaks...the cast would laugh when smoke was seen coming out of The Robot between takes, etc.icon_lol.gif
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    Jan 19, 2009 4:44 PM GMT
    "Lost In Space" was one of my favourite shows when I was the age that I am in my RJ picture (6-7). I used to watch it because I was mysteriously attracted to some of the males on the show! Funny thing is even at that age I knew not to mention it to anyone. Could have been my natural shyness though.
  • EricLA

    Posts: 3461

    Jan 19, 2009 5:12 PM GMT
    Red_Vespa saidHis cry of "Danger, Will Robinson, danger!" became an all-purpose phrase for every kind of "don't go there" situation. Although I never hear it today, another casualty of the passage of time. Over 40 years since that series began.

    That robot, BTW, was originally created for the 1956 sci-fi classic Forbidden Planet. He was "Robbie the Robot" there, and was so successful he was recycled for a few other movies, and many TV shows.

    For Lost in Space they modified him extensively, keeping only the basic torso. He got a new head, and legs that were locked together over tractor treads, whereas formerly he could walk on 2 feet. I believe a second robot was eventually built for the series, as well.

    This site doesn't allow links to pics, but click on "All About Robby" to read his history and see some photos:

    http://www.the-robotman.com/



    Red, according to the LA Times, Bob May didn't provide the voice of the Robot, just the movements.
  • EricLA

    Posts: 3461

    Jan 19, 2009 5:12 PM GMT
    Red_Vespa saidHis cry of "Danger, Will Robinson, danger!" became an all-purpose phrase for every kind of "don't go there" situation. Although I never hear it today, another casualty of the passage of time. Over 40 years since that series began.

    That robot, BTW, was originally created for the 1956 sci-fi classic Forbidden Planet. He was "Robbie the Robot" there, and was so successful he was recycled for a few other movies, and many TV shows.

    For Lost in Space they modified him extensively, keeping only the basic torso. He got a new head, and legs that were locked together over tractor treads, whereas formerly he could walk on 2 feet. I believe a second robot was eventually built for the series, as well.

    This site doesn't allow links to pics, but click on "All About Robby" to read his history and see some photos:

    http://www.the-robotman.com/



    Red, according to the LA Times, Bob May didn't provide the voice of the Robot, just the movements.
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    Jan 19, 2009 5:19 PM GMT
    Correct...Dick Tufeld provided the voice of The Robot on the series and in the 1998 film version: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0876185/

    Bob May was the "man in suit": http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0561878/
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    Jan 19, 2009 5:24 PM GMT
    I've been watching the series again thanks to Netflix. Me and my sister loved that show growing up. One of the last episodes I saw was 'War of the Robots' which had what looked like Robbie from Forbidden Planet in it. That was a nice surprise.

    On topic or not Bill Mummy played Lennier in the tv series Babylon 5 (not many realize it was him) and June Lockhart guest starred in an episode.
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    Jan 19, 2009 5:32 PM GMT
    EricLA saidRed, according to the LA Times, Bob May didn't provide the voice of the Robot, just the movements.

    Yeah, thanks, I was unclear on that, I meant "he" the robot, whoever voiced him. Often the actors inside those elaborate costumes & suits don't do their own voicing, a custom that's continued with characters like Darth Vader being spoken by James Earl Jones, acted by David Prowse, and visualized by Sebastian Shaw when the helmet was off.
  • RSportsguy

    Posts: 1925

    Jan 19, 2009 7:31 PM GMT
    Sporty_g saidThe robot was always COOL! I had one of the plastic replica robots, got it for Christmas on year.


    I had one of those too! It was my favorite present up to that point in my life!! icon_biggrin.gif
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    Jan 19, 2009 11:08 PM GMT
    So sorry to hear this news.

    Also, just to clarify: Bob May was the guy inside the Robot, who made it move in most of the scenes. Dick Tufeld, who is still with us, was the voice (he also did voice-overs for all kinds of things, including the Academy Awards). I had the pleasure of meeting him a few years ago and he's a great guy.

    Never met Bob May, but I heard he too was a great guy. What you may not know is that his home burned down in the L.A. fires this past autumn. He lost everything in the fire. A month later he had a stroke, which apparently led to this.

    Lost In Space was my fav program when I was a kid. Even today I have all the videos. I also have a 6-ft replica of the Robot, which stands guard in my office. It is the talk of our production house and visitors drop in just to look at it. It talks (with Dick Tufeld's voice). I also have some smaller plastic models on my bookshelf.

    Again, very sorry to hear the news.