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Remembering Dick Tufeld, voice of the 'Lost in Space' Robot

Remembering Dick Tufeld, voice of the 'Lost in Space' Robot


Dick Tufeld, best known as the iconic voice of the Robot in Lost in Space, has passed away at age 85.

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The man responsible for voicing such iconic phrases as "Danger, Will Robinson!" and "That does not compute" has passed away at age 85. Dick Tufeld gave voice to the Class M-3 Model B9 General Utility Non-Theorizing Environmental Control Robot, better known as The Robot, on 1960s TV show Lost in Space, warning the Robinson clan, particularly the youngest Robinson child Will, of threats from aliens or the villainous Dr. Smith. The movements of the robot were coordinated by a second man, Bob May, with Tufeld's lines dubbed in during post-production.

By the time he joined Lost in Space, Tufeld was already a veteran voice actor who had worked on shows like "Bewitched" and two other adventure series produced by Lost in Space creator Irwin Allen. Allen asked Tufeld, who was already narrating Lost in Space, to audition for the voice of a robot character. In a 2004 interview, Tufeld said he "walked in and said, 'I assume you want a mechanical robot-ian kind of sound.' [Allen] shook his head, 'That's precisely what I don't want.'" After a number of failed tests, Tufeld finally used his "best mechanical robot-ian kind of sound" to pronounce "That does not compute," to which Allen responded "That's what I wanted! What the hell took you so long!"

Despite popularizing phrases that would make their way far outside the original context of the show, Tufeld said that he only discovered his character's cultural impact in 1978, when an introduction as the voice of the Lost in Space Robot at Syracuse University led to a standing ovation. For some clips of Tufeld's many performances, check out this A.V. Club tribute to the man behind one of the most famous androids of all time.