Personal blog - and temporary home page until new website is finished - of writer, editor and graphic artist Christopher Mills

Monday, November 13, 2006

The Hardest Working 'Bot in Show Biz!

In my "Forbidden Memories" post below, I waxed nostalgic about the classic science fiction movie Forbidden Planet, and its real star, Robby the Robot (pictured above with his lovely co-star from that film, Anne Francis).

The distinctive automaton was designed by the talented Robert Kinoshita, and built in mid-1955 by the MGM prop department at a reported cost of $125,000.00. Several "clones" have subsequently been built over the years by both fans and professionals, including, I believe, Fred Barton (who today sells authorized, full-sized replicas), Robert Short and Bill Malone.

Robby is frequently confused in the minds of the public with his younger "brother," the Robot from the TV series Lost In Space. Of course, Robot does have a similar design – which is probably not coincidental, since the Jupiter 2's cybernetic crewmember was also designed by Kinoshita.

Over the years, Robby – or his various clones – have made numerous guest appearances in both feature film and television shows, sometimes sporting an altered head or color scheme. Not long ago in this very blog, I was wondering if anyone had compiled a definitive list of Robby's "acting credits." I searched around a bit online, but was unable to find one that seemed complete.

Here’s a partial list, though, compiled from several sources, including Wikipedia, the IMdB and my own memory. Additions and corrections are welcome!

The Perry Como Show (1957)
The Invisible Boy
The Thin Man
(TV series), "The Robot Client" (1958)
The Gale Storm Show, "The Robot from Inner Space" (1958)
The Dobie Gillis Show (196-)
The Red Skelton Show
The Twilight Zone, "Uncle Simon" & "The Brain Center At Whipple's" (1963 & 1964)
The Man from U.N.C.L.E., "The Bridge of Lions Affair" (1966)
Lost In Space, "War of the Robots" & "The Condemned of Space" (1966 & 1967)
The Addams Family, "Lurch's Little Helper" (1966)
The Banana Splits Adventure Hour, "Danger Island" (1970)
Columbo, "Mind Over Mayhem" (1974)
Ark II, "The Robot" (1976)
Holmes and Yo-Yo (1976)
Hollywood Boulevard
Space Academy
TV commercial for Starlog magazine (1978)
Wonder Woman, "Spaced Out" (1979)
Mork & Mindy, "Dr. Morkenstein" (1979)
Project U.F.O., "Sighting 4010: The Waterford Incident" (1978)
Pink Lady & Jeff
The Love Boat

The Phantom Empire (1986)
Cherry 2000 (1987)
Earth Girls Are Easy (1988)
(TV series)
Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003)
Stacked, "Gavin's Pipe Dream" (2005)
TV commercial for AT&T (2006)

1 comment:

Andrew Glazebrook said...

The Phantom Empire is a low budget gem ! :) Mainly because of Sybil Danning !