June Lockhart is beloved for playing two iconic TV moms, but with a career spanning nine decades, she’s had far more roles than just that. Lockhart starred on Lassie from 1958 to 1964 as Ruth Martin, the mother of Timmy (Jon Provost), who was Lassie’s companion. Then, from 1965 to 1968, she starred on Lost in Space as family matriarch Dr. Maureen Robinson. She’s worked on many projects in the years since, and outside of her career, become a mother and grandmother. Read on to learn more about where the now 96-year-old Lockhart’s life has taken her.
Aside from starring on Lassie and Lost in Space, Lockhart has appeared in series including Bewitched, Petticoat Junction, Magnum, P.I., Step by Step, and Beverly Hills, 90210. She also appeared in nearly 40 episodes of General Hospital. Some of her more recent work includes a 2006 episode of Grey’s Anatomy, the 2006 TV movie Holiday in Handcuffs, and the 2016 film The Remake.
Lockhart has also acted on stage, and in 1948 she received the Tony Award for Outstanding Performance by a Newcomer for For Love or Money.
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Lockhart took part in fictional space exploration on Lost in Space, but she also has a real, personal interest in the topic. The actor is a longtime supporter of NASA, and in 2013, she was given a special honor from the organization. “I was presented with the Exceptional Public Achievement Medal for my work with the space agency,” she told The Gazette in a 2014 interview. “I’ve been to two space shuttle launches and worked with NASA since the 1970s, addressing their employees and traveling on NASA’s behalf to promote the agency. So I’m absolutely thrilled by this recognition. No other actress has received this honor.”
Speaking to NPR in 2004, she said, that astronauts have told her that Lost in Space inspired them in their careers. “I did Lassie for six years and I never had anybody come up to me and say, ‘It made me want to be a farmer,'” she joked.
Lockhart has been married twice. From 1951 to 1959, she was married to John F. Maloney, and they welcomed two children together, June Elizabeth and Anne Lockhart, who is also an actor. In 1959, Lockhart married John Lindsay, and they divorced in 1970.
Speaking to the Fayette Tribune in 2014, Lockhart reminisced about her first movie, 1938’s A Christmas Carol—which she starred in with both of her actor parents, Gene and Kathleen Lockhart—and watching it with her family now.
“My daughter, Junie, and granddaughter, Christianna, have never let me forget that the first words I ever spoke in movies were: ‘I know, I know–sausages!’ It’s become a family joke and we all shriek with laughter when we watch it now,” she said. “Watching the film has become a family tradition each year. And now, to be able to watch it with my grandchildren—well, who gets to do something like that?”
When she spoke with The Daily Item in 2015, Lockhart opened up about her perspective on life. “I’ve had many opportunities that just dropped into my lap over the years and I’m glad I was equal to them,” she said. “I used to think 90, gosh, that’s old. But I feel 55. I’m very fortunate to still be active and working.”