If you grew up watching old movies, you probably saw the science fiction hit Forbidden Planet. The movie starred Leslie Nielsen as a spaceship captain investigating a strange planet.
While the movie features incredible, cutting edge special effects, audiences fell in love with a waddling robot named Robby. For some reason, this strange robot with a glass head really impressed people, and he had career most actors could only dream of.
Just a year after his movie debut, Robby was promoted from a bit-part to a movie star, and was featured in his own movie called The Invisible Boy.
But who, exactly, was Robby? He was actually a suit built by MGM’s props department. If he makes you think of a big washing machine with legs, you’re not alone. He was created by Robert Kinoshita, an artist who actually designed washing machines.
On set, he was controlled by a stuntman named Frankie Darro. Despite all of Darro’s hard work, his name never showed up in the credits, but Robby’s did. Maybe the robot just had a better agent.
Finally, actor Marvin Miller gave Robby his famous deep voice.
Like many Hollywood actors, after his early success Robby’s career hit a rough patch. He spent most the 70s in a movie memorabilia museum, where lots of guests drew on him and tore off his parts.
Thankfully, he was bought by movie historian William Malone, and he finally started to find more roles.
You probably recognize Robby from lots of TV shows. He’s had guest roles on everything from Wonder Woman and Lost in Space to Columbo and The Addams Family.
After decades of work in the entertainment business, Robby has finally earned the respect he deserves.
In 2004 he was inducted into the Robot Hall of Fame. He hasn’t shot any new parts in a while, but lots of fans are still discovering his long career. And unlike most actors, he can keep it going for decades and decades to come.
Share if you remember this famous robot!