Mark Goddard, best known for playing Major Don West on iconic sci-fi series Lost in Space, has died at the age of 87.
Mark Goddard, best known for playing Major Don West on Lost in Space, has died at the age of 87.
Goddard’s death was announced by his wife Evelyn Pezzulich 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.“
When Goddard’s agent first pitched Lost in Space to him, he wasn’t too sure he wanted to be involved. “I said, ‘Gee, I don’t know, I’m not sure, because of the subject matter.’” Goddard said in Tom Weaver’s book They Fought in Creature Features. “And [Goddard’s agent] said, ‘Well, listen, you just do it and don’t worry about it. Take the money. Because nobody’s gonna see it and it’ll never sell.’” When Goddard first saw himself in his silver spacesuit, he wrote in his memoir, To Space and Back, that he had to take a deep breath and wonder “How the hell did this happen?“
Lost in Space lasted for three seasons before it was cancelled, likely due to its high cost, but it remained popular in syndication. It later spawned a big-screen movie in 1998 in which Goddard’s role was played by Matt LeBlanc. Netflix also developed a reimagining of the series, which wrapped up its three-season run in 2021. The character of Don West was played by Ignacio Serricchio in that series.
In addition to Lost in Space, Mark Goddard also starred in Johnny Ringo as Cully, the deputy to the title character. He also played Sgt. Chris Ballard in The Detectives for three years. He also made appearances in The Rifleman, The Beverly Hillbillies, The Virginian, Gunsmoke, Perry Mason, The Fugitive, The Mod Squad, Barnaby Jones, General Hospital, and more. He also made a cameo in the Lost in Space movie along with several other members of the original cast. Safe travels, Mr. Goddard. Our thoughts and condolences go out to your family and friends.