87 (passed away Nov. 3rd, 2002)
Nov. 6th, 1914
Bronx, New York, USA
Jonathan Harris' Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles1999 - Toy Story 2
1998 - A Bug's Life
1993 - Happily Ever After
1987 - Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night
Guest TV Roles
Professor Jones (Voiced)
Don Carlos Fernandez
Master of Ceremonies
Professor James Moriarty (Voiced)
Born Jonathan Charasuchin in the Bronx to impoverished Russian-Jewish imiigrants, Jonathan Harris worked as a box boy in a pharmacy at age 12 and later earned his pharmacy degree at Fordham University. The desire to act proved overwhelming, however, and he forsook this promising trade for the theater, shaking off his thick Bronx accent and changing his surname to one easier to pronounce. After performing in over 100 plays in stock companies nationwide, he made his Broadway bow in 1942 with "Heart of a City" and entertained WWII troops in the South Pacific.
Following his introduction to live television drama in 1948, he ventured off to Hollywood and made his film debut, co-starring with Alan Ladd (I) and James Mason (I) in Botany Bay (1953). However, it was TV that would make him a household name - first as Bradley Webster in "The Third Man" (1959) opposite Michael Rennie, and then the role that made him a cult icon, Dr. Zachary Smith, the dastardly, effete stowaway on "Lost in Space" (1965), with Harris easily stealing the show week after week as he botched and mangled all the good intentions of the Robinson family to get back home to Earth. Unable to top this achievement and seriously typecast as a plummy villain, the remainder of his career was spent with great relish providing voice-over work in commercials and animated cartoons. Harris died of a blood clot to the heart just days before his 88th birthday.
- His Broadway debut was in 1942 on the play "Heart of the City".
- Was a frequent guest on the Opie and Anthony radio show
- Died just three days before he would have had his 88th birthday. That same day, his family and friends attended his funeral.
- His father, Sam, got struck by a car and was found dead in 1977.
- Following _"Lost in Space" (1965)_ (qv), he did numerous commercials for the International House of Pancakes.
- Remained good friends with 'Bill Mumy' (qv) during and after _"Lost in Space" (1965)_ (qv).
- Harris and the rest of the cast of _"Lost in Space" (1965)_ (qv), were very disappointed by its cancellation in 1968, attributed to the show's high cost.
- Survived by his wife, Gertrude, of 64 years and one son, Richard.
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