Mark Goddard Obituary: The entertainment world lost a shining star this week with the passing of actor Mark Goddard at the age of 87. Goddard was best known for his role as Major Don West on the 1960s sci-fi series Lost in Space, though his acting career spanned over five decades across television, film, and Broadway.
Goddard was born Charles Harvey Goddard in Lowell, Massachusetts in 1936, the youngest of five children. After serving in the United States Navy, Goddard headed to Hollywood in 1959 to pursue acting. Within just three weeks, he had landed a part on the CBS western Johnny Ringo. This marked the beginning of a prolific early television career, with Goddard scoring roles on shows like The Detectives, The Gallant Men, The Richard Boone Show, and Twelve O’Clock High.
Breakout Role on Lost in Space
Goddard’s big break came in 1965 when he was cast as Major Don West on Lost in Space, the CBS television series about the space pioneering Robinson family. Set 30 years in the future, the show followed the family after their spacecraft veered off course en route to Alpha Centauri, leaving them lost and struggling to survive in space. Goddard starred alongside Guy Williams, June Lockhart, Angela Cartwright, Bill Mumy, and Jonathan Harris during the show’s three season run from 1965-1968.
As pilot Major West, Goddard quickly became a fan favorite. His character was known for his short temper and his on-again, off-again romance with Dr. Maureen Robinson (Lockhart). Goddard’s chemistry with Lockhart and his keen sense of comedic timing made him a standout among the ensemble cast. The show, though canceled after three seasons, remains a cult classic with a lasting legacy thanks to syndication and repeats.
Soap Opera Star and Later Career
After Lost in Space ended, Goddard continued working steadily in television. He had a recurring role on the primetime soap opera Peyton Place and made guest appearances on shows like The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Six Million Dollar Man, and The Love Boat.
Goddard found great success in the daytime soap world as well. From 1978-1987, he played the role of Ted Clayton on One Life to Live. Goddard then portrayed Lt. Paul Reed on The Doctors from 1978-1982 and Derek Barrington on General Hospital from 1982-1983.
Beyond soap operas, some of Goddard’s most notable roles included playing Helen Reddy’s husband in the 1973 disaster film Airport 1975 and starring alongside Liza Minnelli in the Broadway musical The Act in 1978. In 1998, Goddard made a cameo in the Lost in Space film reboot as the general overseeing the Jupiter Mission.
Later Life and Philanthropy
After decades in Hollywood, Goddard returned to school, earning a master’s degree in education from Bridgewater State College. He spent nearly 20 years working as a special education teacher at F.L. Chamberlain School in Middleboro, Massachusetts.
Goddard was also deeply devoted to charity work alongside his wife, Evelyn Pezzulich, whom he married in 1987. The two were active Stephen Ministers at Holy Family Church in Duxbury for over five years. In retirement, they enjoyed traveling the world together, visiting nearly 40 countries across six continents.
On October 10, 2023, Goddard passed away at the age of 87. He is survived by Evelyn, his son John, two children from a previous marriage, and four grandchildren. A funeral mass will be held on October 21 at Holy Family Church in Duxbury.
Mark Goddard’s kindness, humor, and talent brought joy to generations of television fans. His legacy lives on through reruns of his classic shows and through the many lives he touched as an actor, teacher, husband, father, and friend. He will be dearly missed.
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