Bill Mumy is the living personification of fan culture: for over six decades Mumy has been living the wildest fantasies of fan boys everywhere in virtually every aspect of the entertainment industry. From writing and producing, to doing voice acting, to working in the comic book and music industry, Mumy has literally done it all. However, the world will always remember Bill Mumy as one of the 1960s foremost child character actors. One of the most important and talented child actors during the golden age of television, Billy Mumy possessed something that most child actors didn’t have: he was a great dramatic actor who, despite his young age, often upstaged adult actors. This made him a favorite of producers and casting agents and, as a result, it is impossible to watch classic television and not see Billy Mumy turn up on the screen. The result is that Bill Mumy has worked with some of the biggest icons of the entertainment industry, and has appeared in a wide range of television programs including Perry Mason, The Twilight Zone, Have Gun – Will Travel, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Fugitive, The Munsters, The Virginian, Bewitched, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, Here Comes the Brides, The Rockford Files, Matlock, Crossing Jordan and Babylon 5.
Of course, Bill Mumy’s biggest contribution to pop culture may be his role as boy space adventurer Will Robinson on Irwin Allen’s classic 60s sci-fi series Lost in Space. As the youngest crew member of the sabotaged rocket space Jupiter 2, Will Robinson became the center character of the program as audiences looked through his eyes while he and his family explored strange planets in an attempt to return to Earth for three seasons. Alongside a talented cast of actors, including Guy Williams and Jonathan Harris, Lost in Space sealed Bill Mumy’s place in pop culture history.
Bill Mumy is still active in the entertainment industry, although today he is primarily focused on his music and has released a number of solo albums over the past two decades, as well as writing his own comic series, Curse of the Mumy, for Bluewater Productions. Writing songs since he was a kid, Mumy has been involved in the music scene since the early 70s and has worked with performers such as America, Shaun Cassidy and Rick Springfield. But possibly Mumy’s most infamous persona in the music industry is as one part of Barnes and Barnes, with childhood friend Robert Haimer. Forming the group in 1970, Barnes and Barnes have produced nine albums of novelty songs, with their biggest hit being the notorious cult hit Fish Heads. Made into a short film in 1979, Fish Heads was introduced to the public when it was featured on Saturday Night Live in 1980.
A natural storyteller, I was delighted to have a talk with Bill Mumy about just a handful of his career highlights from the past, where he revealed what it was like looking at the flip side of pop culture through the eyes of a child who was on the front lines as entertainment history happened. Bill Mumy walked amongst the industry giants as a kid, but thankfully for us, he was very much aware of it as the time, allowing him to still have a sense of awe in his stories.