Bill Mumy: American actor (1954-) | Biography
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Bill Mumy
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American actor
A.K.A. Billy Mumy, Charles William "Bill" Mumy, Jr.
Is Actor Child actor Musician Singer Television actor Film actor Voice actor
From United States of America
Field Film, TV, Stage & Radio Music
Gender male
Birth 1 February 1954, San Gabriel, USA
Age 69 years
Star sign Aquarius
Residence Hollywood Hills, USA
Spouse: Elieen Mumy
Children: Seth MumyLiliana Mumy
Inkpot Award  
The details (from wikipedia)


Charles William Mumy Jr. (/ˈmmi/; born February 1, 1954) is an American actor and musician and a figure in the science-fiction community/comic book fandom. He came to prominence in the 1960s as a child actor, when he was credited as Billy Mumy—an era which included his appearing on television in The Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and on film in Dear Brigitte, followed by an iconic three-season role as Will Robinson in the 1960s CBS sci-fi series Lost in Space.

He later appeared as lonely teenager Sterling North in the Disney film Rascal (1969) and Teft in the film Bless the Beasts and Children (1971).

In the 1990s, he performed the role of Lennier in all five seasons of the syndicated sci-fi TV series Babylon 5 and narrated A&E Network's Emmy Award-winning series Biography.

Mumy is also known for his musical career as a guitarist, singer, songwriter and composer: he is an Emmy nominee for original music in Adventures in Wonderland (1991). As a musician Mumy performs as a solo artist, an occasional guest performer, and as half of the duo Barnes & Barnes. From 1988 through the 90s he performed at the San Diego Comic-Con and other comics related events as part of the band Seduction of the Innocent (named after the book by Fredric Wertham) along with Miguel Ferrer, Steve Leialoha, Max Allan Collins and John "Chris" Christensen. The band released one CD, The Golden Age.

Early life and career

Mumy was born in San Gabriel, California to Charles William Mumy, a cattle rancher, and Muriel Gertrude Mumy (née Gould). He began his professional career at age six, and has worked on more than four hundred television episodes, eighteen films, various commercials, and scores of voice-over projects. He has also worked as a musician, songwriter, recording artist, and writer.

Television and film career

Among Mumy's earliest television roles was six-year-old Willy in the "Donald's Friend" (1960) episode of the NBC-TV family drama series National Velvet, starring Lori Martin. He starred in three episodes of CBS-TV's original Twilight Zone: "It's a Good Life" (November 1961), as a child who terrorizes his town with psychic powers (a role he later reprised along with his daughter Liliana in the It's Still a Good Life episode of the second revival series); "In Praise of Pip" (September 1963), as a vision of Jack Klugman's long-neglected dying son; and "Long Distance Call" (March 1961) as Billy Bayles, who talks to his dead grandmother through a toy telephone.

Mumy in the Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode Bang! You're Dead, 1961

In 1961, Billy was cast on CBS-TV's Alfred Hitchcock Presents series in "The Door Without a Key", featuring John Larch, who played his father in "It's a Good Life". The same year, Mumy starred as little Jackie in the episode "Bang! You're Dead", featuring Marta Kristen, who later played his sister Judy on Lost in Space. Mumy was cast as Mark Murdock in the "Keep an Eye on Santa Claus" (1962) episode of the ABC-TV drama series Going My Way, starring Gene Kelly. His fellow guest stars were Cloris Leachman (who played his mother in "It's a Good Life"), Steve Brodie, and Frank McHugh.

At age eight, Mumy appeared in Jack Palance's ABC-TV circus drama The Greatest Show on Earth (1958); he was cast as Miles, a parentless boy, in the Perry Mason episode "The Case of the Shifty Shoebox" (1958); and he portrayed Freddy in the "End of an Image" (1958) episode of NBC-TV's modern Western series Empire, starring Richard Egan.

In 1964, he was cast as Richard Kimble's nephew in ABC-TV's The Fugitive episode, "Home Is the Hunted"; as Barry in the NBC-TV medical drama The Eleventh Hour episode "Sunday Father"; as himself three times in the ABC sitcom The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet; in the Disney film For the Love of Willadena; and as a troubled orphan taken in by the Stephenses in the Bewitched fantasy sitcom episode "A Vision of Sugarplums" (December 1964), on ABC-TV.

Mumy was reportedly the first choice to portray Eddie Munster in the 1964 CBS situation comedy The Munsters, but his parents objected to the extensive makeup requirements. The role instead went to Butch Patrick. Mumy appeared in one episode as a friend of Eddie's.

Mumy guest starred in an episode of NBC-TV's I Dream of Jeannie, "Whatever Became of Baby Custer?" (1961). That same year, he also appeared in an episode of Bewitched entitled "Junior Executive" (1961), in which he played a young Darrin Stevens.

Billy Mumy with Brigitte Bardot in Dear Brigitte, 1965.

Mumy starred in Dear Brigitte (1961), a film adaptation of the novel Erasmus with Freckles, as Erasmus Leaf, a child mathematical genius who develops a crush on Brigitte Bardot (played by herself in the film). His parents, played by James Stewart and Glynis Johns, attempt to manage his obsession.

Lost in Space and beyond

While noted for several roles as both a child and adult actor, Mumy is perhaps best known for his iconic television role the 60s science fiction series. From 1965 to 1968, Mumy portrayed Will Robinson in Lost in Space, who was the recipient of numerous warnings, (most famously "Danger, Will Robinson") from the show's robot character, voiced by Dick Tufeld.

Mumy was later cast in Bless the Beasts and Children (1971) as Teft, a leader in a group of misfit teenage boys resolved to save a herd of bison from hunters. He also played a musician friend of Cliff DeYoung's character in the TV movie Sunshine (1973), and later reprised the role in Sunshine Christmas and in the TV series Sunshine. In 1974, he played Nick Butler in the pilot episode of NBC's The Rockford Files and also made an appearance in a later episode in season 1, as a sidewalk artist. In 1988, he played Ben Matlock's genius nephew, Dr. Irwin Bruckner, on Matlock.

In 1996, Mumy was a writer and co-creator of Space Cases, a Nickelodeon television show with themes similar to those of Lost in Space. Between 1994–1998 he played the ambassadorial aide Lennier in the syndicated science fiction series Babylon 5. In November 1998, he played Kellin, a Starfleet officer, in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "The Siege of AR-558", in which he assists in defeating a Jem'Hadar detachment. To Mumy's delight, his character was human this time; while playing Lennier in Babylon 5, he was required to wear prosthetic makeup. He was more recently seen in a 2006 episode of Crossing Jordan and in the Sci Fi original film A.I. Assault.

In 2018, Mumy appeared in the pilot episode of the Netflix remake series, Lost in Space. His character's name is Dr. Z. Smith, in homage to the character played by Jonathan Harris in the 1965 television series.

Voice acting career

Mumy has narrated over 50 episodes of the Arts & Entertainment Channel's Biography series, as well as hosted and narrated several other documentaries and specials for A & E, Animal Planet network, The Sci-Fi Channel, and E!. His voice acting talents can be heard on animated shows like Ren and Stimpy, Scooby-Doo, Batman: The Animated Series, Steven Spielberg's Animaniacs, Little Wizard Adventures, The Oz Kids and Disney's Buzz Lightyear of Star Command and Doc McStuffins. He has done voice over work in national commercials for such businesses as Bud Ice, Farmers Insurance, Ford, Blockbuster, Twix, Oscar Mayer and McDonald's.


Mumy is an accomplished musician who plays the banjo, bass, guitar, harmonica, keyboards, mandolin, and percussion. His various musical credits include songs he has written and recorded with America, performed on tour with Shaun Cassidy, and played with Rick Springfield's band in the film Hard to Hold. He created the band The Be Five with other Babylon 5 actors.

Mumy has released a number of solo CDs, including Dying to Be Heard, In the Current, Pandora's Box, After Dreams Come True, Los Angeles Times and Ghosts, as well as nine albums with music partner Robert Haimer as Barnes and Barnes. Their most famous hit is the song "Fish Heads", which Rolling Stone magazine named one of the top 100 videos of all time. He also performs with the Jenerators, a blues-rock band based in Los Angeles featuring Tom Hebenstreit on vocals, electric guitars, and keyboards; Mumy on vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, harmonica, keyboards and percussion; Gary Stockdale on vocals and bass; Miguel Ferrer on vocals, percussion and drums; David Jolliffe on guitar, percussion and vocals; and Chris Ross on drums and percussion. Additionally, Mumy released a Byrds-tribute song, "When Roger Was Jim" (2012). In 2017, along with John Cowsill (The Cowsills) and Vicki Peterson (The Bangles) he founded the band Action Skulls. Their first CD (Angels Hear), which also included posthumous contributions from the bassist Rick Rosas, was released on September 27, 2017.

Mumy produces and hosts The Real Good Radio Hour, a weekly series on KSAV Internet Radio focusing on various styles of music and the artists who pioneered them.

Lost in Space activities in later years

In 1996, Mumy and his Lost in Space costar Jonathan Harris were reunited at a Walt Disney convention in Orlando, Florida. Mumy worked again with Harris on the retrospective special Lost In Space: Forever (1998), where they reprised their roles in a scene written by Mumy (Harris rewrote his own lines). This occurred the year after the rest of the cast (including both Mumy and Harris) stated in a TV Guide article that the Sci Fi Channel planned to do a Lost in Space marathon while promoting a new movie. Harris was to appear in the planned TV movie, Lost in Space: The Journey Home, but died before production was scheduled to start, in 2002, and it was subsequently cancelled. Mumy read the eulogy at Harris' funeral and was asked to narrate an account of his longtime friend's life on A&E Biography that year.

In a 2010 interview on Blog Talk Radio's Lessons Learned, Rick Tocquigny was asked if Mumy was a Jonathan Harris fan before they appeared together on Lost in Space. Tocquigny said that at age five, Mumy was too young to watch his mentor's show The Third Man, which would have been aired late at night, but he was old enough to see The Bill Dana Show.

On June 14, 2006, Mumy got to work with Harris one last time, though posthumously. Years before Harris died, he recorded voice work for the animated short The Bolt Who Screwed Christmas, narrating the film and playing the part of The Bolt. As a tribute to Harris, writer-director John Wardlaw added a scene that reunited Lost in Space cast members Mumy, Marta Kristen, and Angela Cartwright as the animated Ratchett family.

In May 2013, 11 years after Harris' death in November 2002, Mumy commented on his connection with his friend and acting mentor offscreen and their onscreen connection while working in character as Will Robinson and Dr. Smith onscreen, in Lost in Space. Mumy noted: "I never really had too many uncomfortable moments working with any actor. I was comfortable working with most everybody. It's just the more that Jonathan and I did together, the more he changed the character. He really changed the character of Dr. Smith himself. He really turned him from a snarling saboteur villain to this bumbling insulting kook. The more he played it for comedy, the more Irwin Allen liked it. The show really went the way that Jonathan led it. But we had great chemistry together, and we never had a bad day. We were always prepared, as was Bobby May who was inside the robot. When we had our work to do—and I think this is a very big reason [for] the way it went—they’d get us done in a couple of takes. Nobody screwed up. It was easier for the crew and it was easier for us, and people seemed to like it."

Mumy attends Lost in Space reunions and shows, and co-authored a 2015 book, Lost (and Found) in Space with Angela Cartwright.

Other work

Mumy and co-author Peter David published a short story, "The Black '59" (1992), in the anthology Shock Rock, edited by F. Paul Wilson.

He has also written a number of comics. With his friend Miguel Ferrer Mumy created Comet Man and Trypto the Acid Dog. They also co-wrote the Marvel Graphic Novel The Dreamwalker.

Personal life

Mumy, his wife, Eileen, and their two children, Seth (b. 1989) and Liliana (b. 1994), live in Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles.

Television and filmography

Mumy in Dear Brigitte, 1965
Year Film/Television Role Notes
1961 The Twilight Zone Billy Bayles Episode: "Long Distance Call"
1961 The Twilight Zone Anthony Fremont Episode: "It's a Good Life"
1962 House Guest Tony Mitchell
1962 Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color Petey Loomis Episode: "Sammy, the Way-Out Seal"
1962 The Jack Benny Program 34-Lb Boy Episode: "Jack and the Crying Cab Driver"
1963 A Child Is Waiting Boy counting Jean's pearls
1963 A Ticklish Affair Alex Martin
1963 Palm Springs Weekend 'Boom Boom' Yates
1963 The Twilight Zone Young Pip Phillips Episode: "In Praise of Pip"
1963 Perry Mason Miles Jefferson Episode: "The Case of the Shifty Shoebox"
1964 Bewitched Orphan Boy Episode: "A Vision of Sugar Plums"
1964 The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet Billy 3 episodes
1965 The Virginian Willy
1965 Dear Brigitte Erasmus Leaf
1965 I Dream of Jeannie Custer Episode: "Whatever Became of Baby Custer?"
1965 The Munsters Googie Miller Episode: "Come Back Little Googie"
1965 Bewitched Darrin the Boy Episode: "Junior Executive"
1965–68 Lost in Space Will Robinson 84 episodes
1968 Wild in the Streets Boy Uncredited
1969 Rascal Sterling North
1970 Here Come the Brides Simon Bill Episode: "Break the Bank of Tacoma"
1971 Bless the Beasts and Children Teft
1973 Papillon Lariot
1974 The Rockford Files Nick Butler "Backlash of the Hunter" (pilot)
1975 Sunshine Weaver 15 episodes
1983 Twilight Zone: The Movie Tim (Segment #3)
1984 Hard to Hold Keyboard Player
1988 Matlock Dr. Irwin Bruckn
1990 Captain America Young General Fleming
1991 The Flash Roger Braintree
1991–92 Superboy Tommy Puck 3 episodes
1994 Animaniacs The Farmer (voice)
1994 The Ren & Stimpy Show Dr. Brainchild (voice)
1994–98 Babylon 5 Lennier 109 episodes
1995 Batman: The Animated Series The Fox/Warren Lawford (voice)
1997 The Weird Al Show UPS guy
1997 Space Ghost Coast to Coast Himself (voice)
1998 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Kellin Episode: "The Siege of AR-558"
1998 Lost In Space Forever Himself/Will Robinson TV Special
2000 Buzz Lightyear of Star Command Eon 2 episodes
2003 The Twilight Zone: Series Adult Anthony Fremont Episode: "It's Still A Good Life"
2004 Comic Book: The Movie Himself Video
2005 Holly Hobbie and Friends: Surprise Party Bud Morris (voice) Direct to DVD
2009 The Bolt Who Screwed Christmas Knob Ratchett Theatrical Short
2013–14 Bravest Warriors Beth's father (voice) Web Series
4 episodes
2014 Transformers: Rescue Bots Vigil (voice) 2 episodes
2018 The Loud House Timothy "Tim" McCole (voice) Episode: "A Fridge Too Far"
2018–2019 Lost in Space (2018) Dr. Zachary Smith 2 episodes
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 06 Apr 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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