Long before Lost in Space was a movie or the still-running Netflix reboot, it was a classic ’60s TV series. Starring Giving The Swiss Family Robinson a futuristic twist, the show starred Guy Williams and June Lockhart as the Robinson parents and tracked the space exploration adventures they had with their three children. Marta Kristen portrayed older daughter Judy, Billy Mumy was youngest child Will, and Angela Cartwright played middle daughter, Penny Robinson. At the time Lost in Space premiered in 1965, Cartwright was just 13 years old. Today, she’s 69, and a lot has changed since she scored her major breakout role as a child actor. Read on to find out what her life is like today.
Cartwright has been acting since she was three years old. Before booking her Lost in Space role, she landed a place in film history, playing Brigitta von Trapp in The Sound of Music, and also had a part in The Danny Thomas Show. After the sci-fi series ended in 1968, she went on to appear in shows including Logan’s Run and The Love Boat, but by the mid-’80s, her acting jobs were fewer and farther between. The 1979 sequel Beyond the Poseidon Adventure ended up being a turning point for Cartwright.
“After Beyond the Poseidon Adventure I wanted to take a step back… to be a wife and a mother,” she said in an interview with the blog Peach Blossoms and Stardust. “I’ve never regretted taking that time out of my life to pursue my other dreams.”
Since then, Cartwright has appeared in front of the camera a few more times, including cameos in the 1998 Lost in Space movie and the Lost in Space Netflix series.
Cartwright and her Lost in Space sibling, Bill Mumy, teamed up to write a book called Lost (and Found) in Space, based on their memories from the show, and in November 2021, they released an updated edition that includes over 600 new photos, many of them from the actors’ own personal collections.
“I just loved the energy that Bill had. And the two of us just hit it off,” she told Fox News of working with Mumy, who added that they’d even dated after the show. “We were very adventurous together and we had a great time filming the show. I mean, to get up every morning and do what you love for a living, what more could someone ask for?”
Since Cartwright left acting behind, she’s had time to focus on art, which seems to be her passion these days.
“I’ve been shooting photography since I was 16 years old, and I’ve been hand-painting my [black and white] nature landscapes, stuff like that, for the past five years,” she said in an interview with Sci-Fi Online. “I just really love it. I grow with my photography and painting, so it’s taken on different forms. It’s such a wonderful medium. I love photography. I’m passionate about it.”
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Cartwright has been married to husband Steve Gullion since 1976, and together, they have two children: Rebecca and Jesse. Those who follow her on Instagram are also well aware that the Lost in Space star adores her grandchildren, who frequently show up in her posts.
“What I love about it is it really keeps me feeling younger,” she said of being a grandmother during a 2020 podcast interview with Dr. Nancy Berk. “And if you’re open to change and the way that people see things differently and the way that kids see things, it’s just so refreshing. I love it.”