You may not recognize the name Bob May but anyone of my generation will certainly remember the 60’s TV show “Lost in Space”. May, the actor who donned the robot suit for 83 episodes between 1965 and 1968 died yesterday of congestive heart failure at 69.
He was a veteran actor and stuntman who had appeared in movies, TV shows and on the vaudeville stage when he was tapped by “Lost in Space” creator Irwin Allen to play the Robinson family’s loyal metal sidekick in the series that debuted in 1965.
“He always said he got the job because he fit in the robot suit,” said June Lockhart, who played family matriarch Maureen Robinson. “It was one of those wonderful Hollywood stories. He just happened to be on the studio lot when someone saw him and sent him to see Irwin Allen about the part. Allen said, ’If you can fit in the suit, you’ve got the job.”’
Although May didn’t provide the robot’s distinctive voice (that was done by announcer Dick Tufeld), he developed a following of fans who sought him out at memorabilia shows.