Born: New York.
Educated: Fordham University.
Married: Yes, for 28 years (in 1967)
Hobbies: Collecting opera records
JONATHAN HARRIS is the only son of a Manhattan tailor, named Charasuchin. Although he grew up in the Bronx, his voice, which he trained himself, carries no trace of the accent common to this area.
Originally he studied to be a pharmacist, but found he enjoyed imitating his customers more than selling them pills. So, in 1939, on a sudden impulse, Jonathan Harris decided to become an actor. One hundred and twenty-five plays later, he hit Broadway with the successful play, The Heart of the City. After four years as a leading man he again had a change of heart and settled down in a steady career as a character actor.
When he started work on television, Harris's parts were all fairly small and in fact, it was never intended that he should become a leading attraction of the Lost in Space series. Dr Zachary Smith was introduced simply to sabotage the Robinson Family's space ship and add a dramatic touch to the opening segments but almost before anyone realised what was happening, the villain, Smith, had stolen the show! Off-screen, Jonathan Harris is a mild, amiable man and he and Billy Mumy, who plays Will Robinson in the series, spend a lot of time together.
Harris doesn't mind how bad he is
made to appear in the show, though.
In fact, he confesses,
The worse I
get, the better I like it.
Source: New Zealand TV Weekly September 4th, 1967.