LOS ANGELES (AP) - Jonathan Harris, the flamboyantly fussy actor who portrayed the dastardly, cowardly antagonist Dr. Zachary Smith on the 1960's sci-fi show "Lost in Space," has died. He was 87.
Harris died Sunday from a blood clot in his heart while receiving therapy at an Encino-area hospital for a chronic back problem, family spokesman Kevin J. Burns said Monday.
Born Jonathan Charasuchin in the Bronx to Russian-Jewish immigrant parents, Harris adopted the stage persona of a classically trained British actor with his grandiloquent accent, crisp enunciation and professorial manner.
When people would ask him if he was from England, Harris would confess: "'Oh no, my dear, just affected,'" said Burns, a longtime friend and director of the 1998 documentary "Lost in Space Forever."
Harris also worked with Pixar Animation Studios in recent years, supplying the voice of Manny the preying-mantis magician in "A Bug's Life" and the elderly doll repairman in "Toy Story 2."
"Lost in Space," which ran on CBS from 1965 to 1968, was a sci-fi takeoff on the "Swiss Family Robinson" story in which the castaway clan was trapped amid the uncharted fathoms of space instead of on a deserted island.
Harris' character, Dr. Smith, was a saboteur who caused the Robinson family's ship, Jupiter II, to fly off course - but he also found himself trapped with them in the craft.
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I had that Young Guns flashback when I saw LDP, too. And I would tend to agree with Kim being the dumbest person on the planet. I was glad to see that they actually explained the part of the preview from last week, where Jack gets shot with the darts.