Jun 23, 2021
CALLING ALPHA CONTROL: MARTA KRISTEN
EPISODE SYNOPSIS: We welcome a very special guest to Alpha Control; Marta Kristen. Well-known to LIS fans as the beautiful actress who played Judy Robinson, Ms. Kristen has had a fascinating life before, during & after her time on the classic series.
MARTA’S BIO: Born as Birgit Annalisa Rusanen in Oslo Norway at the end of WWII. She spent the first four years of her life living in an orphanage until she was adopted by Prof. & Mrs. Harold Soderquist of Detroit, MI., who named Marta in honor of a social worker who helped her parents navigate her adoption process. Marta quickly adapted to her new family & home in the U.S. & displayed a talent for performing at an early age. As a teenager in Michigan, she was already acting in Summer Stock theatre by the age of fourteen.
Then in 1959, a family trip to California marked a fateful turn in her life, as Marta was later ‘discovered’ by a Hollywood producer while on a date at a drive-in in Santa Monica. That in-turn led to several guest-starring roles on some of the most popular TV shows of the early 60’s including; The Loretta Young Show, Leave It to Beaver, My Three Sons & Alfred Hitchcock Presents where she shared screen time with her future Robinson sibling Billy Mumy.
Prior to LIS, Marta also scored roles in the Disney feature film ‘Savage Sam’ & later the beach party movie; ‘Beach Blanket Bingo’, where she played the Mermaid ‘Lorelei’. When she later appeared on an episode of the series ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’; Marta caught the attention of Irwin Allen, who wanted to cast her in his next big Sci-Fi TV series & wouldn’t take no for an answer. Eventually, Marta agreed to become a member of the Robinson family & the rest is history. Originally, her character was meant to be the ‘love interest’ of the castaway’s pilot Major Don West. For a variety of reasons that romance remained more suggested than overt. But during the 3 seasons she played Judy Robinson, Marta still experienced some Wild Adventures while “Lost in Space”.
After the series ended, Marta raised a family and continued to work, making over 40 TV commercials as well as guest starring in numerous TV shows, parts in several feature films & on the stage. Today Marta Kristen still resides in southern California while continuing to work on her craft, as well as making occasional public appearances at various LIS related events. Her fans still adore her & their lasting affection is returned by her warmth & charm. I had the pleasure of speaking with Marta in person at the 2021 WondeFest convention in Louisville, KY. So, get ready to enjoy this delightful interview with the Luminous Marta Kristen.
PODCAST INFO: This interview was conducted on 6 June 2021.