June Lockhart

Active - 1938 - 2016  |   Born - Jun 25, 1925 in New York, New York, United States  |   Genres - Comedy, Drama, Mystery, Crime, Science Fiction

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Biography by Hal Erickson

The daughter of actors Gene and Kathleen Lockhart, June Lockhart made her own acting bow at age 8. In 1938, the 12-year-old June appeared in her first film, A Christmas Carol (1938), in which her parents portrayed Mr. and Mrs. Bob Cratchit. Few of her ingenue roles of the 1940s were memorable, though Lockhart did get to play the title character in The She-Wolf of London (1945) (never mind that she turned out not to be a she-wolf by fadeout time). In 1958, Lockhart took over from a recalcitrant Cloris Leachman in the role of rural wife and mother Ruth Martin on the long-running TV series Lassie. Though she professed to despise the role, Lockhart remained with the series until 1964, and over 20 years later satirically reprised the character on an episode of It's Garry Shandling's Show. She went on to play the young matriarch of the "space family Robinson" on the Irwin Allen TV endeavor Lost in Space (1965-68), and portrayed a lady doctor on the last two seasons of the bucolic sitcom Petticoat Junction. In deliberate contrast to her TV image, Lockhart enjoyed a bohemian, kick-up-your-heels offscreen existence. At one juncture, she was fired from her co-hosting chores at the Miss USA pageant when it was revealed that (gasp!) she was living with a man much younger than herself. June Lockhart is the mother of Anne Lockhart, a prolific TV actress in her own right.

Movie Highlights

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  • Parents were introduced by Thomas Edison when they worked for him as performers who showcased products.
  • Made acting debut at the age of 8 in a Metropolitan Opera performance of Peter Ibbetson.
  • First professional check was for $2.50.
  • Made big screen debut alongside parents, Gene and Kathleen Lockhart in MGM's A Christmas Carol where the family played the Cratchits in 1938.
  • Has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one for television and one for film work.
  • Suggested to NASA that they play her fathers song "The World is Waiting for the Sunrise" as the wake up call for the astronauts on the shuttle.
  • Awarded NASA's Exceptional Public Achievement Medal in 2013 for public contributions to NASA.
  • Starred in The Tesla Effect, a hybrid video game that combines live action and computer graphics in 2014.
  • Celebrated 90th birthday with a performance by the Big Band of Barristers in Beverly Hills.