Family & Companions
Many successful child actors leave the business after puberty, not always willingly, and some come to tragic ends due to psychological problems exacerbated by their early success. Conversely, Bill Mumy moved from life as a child actor into an adult career that was less public but perhaps even more successful. A southern California native who wanted to act from an early age, Mumy began doing guest appearances on TV shows and small roles in movies at the age of 6. He first gained notice for several roles on the cult anthology "The Twilight Zone," including the famous 1961 episode "It's A Good Life," in which Mumy played a six-year-old sociopath who controls the adults in his small town with his mind-reading and telekinetic abilities. For three seasons, the pre-adolescent Mumy played Will Robinson, star of the family science fiction series "Lost In Space." Following that success, a teenage Mumy played the lead roles in the Disney nature film "Rascal" and Stanley Kramer's social commentary "Bless the Beasts & Children." But as he matured, Mumy began acting only occasionally (most notably as a recurring character in the 1990s science fiction series "Babylon 5") and devoted most of his time to voiceover work for cartoons and commercials and an improbably successful music career. Mumy is one-half of the experimental comedy-rock duo Barnes and Barnes, whose 1979 single "Fish Heads" is a perennial junior-high favorite.