Monday, January 19, 2009

Bob May [The Robot]: 1939-2009

"Man, they're just dropping like flies on you."- The One To Be Pitied.

You know I was going to say 'who's next' last week when I wrote about the passing of Ricardo Montalban. I held back because I really didn't want to see another one of our beloved sci-fi legends fall. You know the rule: Things Happen In Three. So they say. So I thought, nope, I will not go there. I will not allow myself to be apart of some superstitious nonsense. I wake today to find the man in the suit behind our beloved Robot on Irwin Allen's Lost In Space has passed away at 69. It was bad enough losing Majel Barret only to be followed by and compounded by another huge loss in Ricardo Montalban and now Bob May. Damn!

Does anyone listen up there? Please stop taking our friends. You are picking them off one by one.
Marta Kirsten, next to our beloved Robot, really was a supreme Norwegian-born babe! There's Lennier to the right!
Bob May, for me anyway, is not instantly recognizable. He was always inside the The Robot. He was the David Prowse of Lost In Space. David Prowse had the unenviable job of physically playing Darth Vader in Star Wars while getting little to no glory. The voice of Darth Vader is of course James Earl Jones and he always stole the show with that deep, thunderous voice box. Let's face it, he was the face of Darth Vader. Well, May was the man inside the suit. The voice of The Robot was Dick Tufeld. Tufeld certainly doesn't have the stature of James Earl Jones, but for those of us who loved The Robot he was definitely the man for the job. In other words, Bob May unfortunately doesn't get the credit for suc classic lines as "Danger Will Robinson!," but he did bring one of the most memorable characters in the sci-fi cannon to life for three seasons [funny both Lost In Space and Star Trek aired for three seasons each].

May donned the suit and certainly endured many hardships for three amazing seasons of that classic show. For that we thank him. I really wanted to show you a clip, but I do not have the DVDs yet. I used to have the VHS tapes, but decided to throw them away because I couldn't take the quality or the rewinding any longer. I had to take a stand. I had to move forward. On principle, I refused to place that big, fat, black cartridge into the VHS machine one more time. No way. No how. This is why I have no video clip for you of The Robot. Darn it! I really wish I had those VHS tapes [okay, perhaps not really].

Let's hope that does it for 2009.
Update! People! I have a video. It's as if the science fiction gods were shining down upon me. I happened upon some terrific documentaries on Star Trek and Lost In Space this evening on the Bio Channel including Lost In Space Forever where I stumbled upon this fitting clip about The Robot & Bob May by sheer chance. Talk about luck. I couldn't have planned it better if made a camp fire and arranged a prayer dance. It's the perfect tribute to the man. Behold as the man, errr... Robot plays guitar no less!


Havremunken said...

Wohoo, a norwegian-born! I ;)

We've been known to churn out the occasional babe, other than that we're just full of ourselves. :)

Seriously though, these guys need to stop dying. No more!

The Sci-Fi Fanatic said...


Actually, Norwegianers tend to be babes! The girls that is. I had a good friend from Oslo. Real good guy, and funny thing he tended to be quite full of himself. It was all good though.

Charlie said...

Found your site while poking around in the Sci-Fi area of the web. Like your site and museings. Check out my blog at unitedrobotalliance dot blogspot dot com. You may find it to your liking.

The Sci-Fi Fanatic said...

I'm glad you found this site Charlie. Your site looks like a hoot. I look forward to having you pay a visit from time to time and I will be doing the same.

Oh and I plan on reviewing the Lost In Space series in the very near future as soon as I have completed Babylon 5. So stay tuned.