Mark Goddard, the actor who played Major Don West in the 1965-1968 CBS show ‘Lost in Space’ died of pulmonary fibrosis on October 10 in Hingham, Massachusetts aged 87.
His wife Evelyn Pezzulich announced his passing on Facebook.
“I’m so sorry to tell you that my wonderful husband passed away on October 10th,” Pezzulich wrote.
“Several days after celebrating his 87th birthday, he was hospitalized with pneumonia. We were hopeful when he was transferred to a rehabilitation center, but then doctors discovered he was in the final stages of pulmonary fibrosis for which there is no cure,” she added.
When Goddard was cast as Major West, he had a reputation as a rising actor with appearances in the 1950s shows ‘Johnny Ringo’ and ‘The Rebel.’
Goddard was born in Lowell, Massachusetts on July 24, 1936.
He studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City before he moved to Los Angeles in 1959.
He was originally named Charles Harvey Goddard, which he later changed to Mark Goddard.
Goddard is best known for playing Major West in ‘Lost in Space’, created by Irwin Allen.
‘Lost in Space’ started as an action-adventure show following the Robinson family as they traveled through the stars.
Major West was a love interest for the Robinson’s eldest daughter, Judy (Marta Kristen), and her father John’s (Guy Williams) right-hand man.
But when a comic dynamic developed between Dr. Zachary Smith (Jonathan Harris) Will Robinson (Bill Mumy), and Robot B-9 (Dick Tufeld voicing Bob May in the costume), the dramatic elements faded away.
When this happened, West, much to Goddard’s annoyance, became an easily angered straight-man foil to the self-centered Dr. Smith.
After the show was canceled in 1968, Goddard guest-starred in shows like ‘The Mod Squad’ and ‘Adam-12’.
He spent his life during the 1990s and early 2000s as a special education teacher in Middleboro, Massachusetts.
In 2008, Goddard published a memoir titled ‘To Space and Back’