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Marta Kristen Poster

Biography

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Overview (3)

Date of Birth 26 February 1945Oslo, Norway
Birth NameBirgit Annalisa Rusanen
Height 5' 4" (1.63 m)

Mini Bio (2)

Marta Kristen was born Birgit Annalisa Rusanen, on February 26, 1945, to a Finnish mother and a German soldier who was killed towards the end of World War II in Europe. Marta was only two months old when she was left in an orphanage. In 1949, Prof. & Mrs. Harold Soderquist of Detroit, Michigan adopted her, and brought her to America; she was renamed Marta. In 1959, the family moved to L.A. and Marta attended Santa Monica High School for a year; she later graduated from Hollywood Professional School. Producer/director James B. Harris discovered the pretty, petite aspiring actress; he arranged for her to get an agent, and she was quickly booked for TV programs, such as Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955) and The Loretta Young Show (1953) (aka "The New Loretta Young Show"). In 1963, Marta met a graduate student and, 6 months later, they got married. Marta's career took off, she made a big splash as the mermaid "Lorelei" in Beach Blanket Bingo (1965). But, she would forever be remembered for her signature role of "Judy Robinson" in the Lost in Space (1965) TV series. However, the show was not as great as expected. Marta later said in an interview, "The show had so much promise. When it started to be silly, we all began to look at each other and say, 'We're in an episode with talking vegetables?' Five years of the Actors Studio, and I'm doing this?" Even worse, the show did not feature her prominently -- in the most popular episode, Lost in Space (1965) {The Sky Pirate (#1.18)}_, in which the great Finnish-descent actor Albert Salmi guest-starred, Marta had only one word of dialogue (she gets to say "good-bye" to the pirate). Offscreen, Marta tried to find her roots, but it was not until 1969, pregnant with her first child and traveling alone through Europe looking for her long-lost relatives, that Marta was able to find her biological mother in Finland; she also met her older sister for the first time, whom she didn't know about. Later that year, Marta returned to the USA, and her daughter Laura was born. Marta concentrated on raising her daughter, and instead of doing television or films, she appeared in over 40 TV commercials, which required less time away from home. Marta and her husband divorced in 1973. In 1974, Marta met Kevin Kane, an attorney, and they got married (they are still together). Marta has remained moderately active in TV and movies, even appearing in the big screen version of Lost in Space (1998). And, she is still finding more family members -- in 1997, Marta discovered that she had a younger brother in Australia, and another sister in Finland she didn't know about. And she puts her own family ahead of her career. Marta recently said in an interview, "Now I'm co-parenting my daughter's child, Lena. I used to do a lot of theater and traveled a lot. But those things are out of the picture for the next couple of years". However, occasionally Marta will attend a science fiction convention, delighting her many fans -- Marta is still our favorite galactic space traveler.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: kdhaisch@aol.com

Marta Kristen will be forever known as "Judy Robinson" in the cult 1960s science fiction series, Lost In Space, produced by Irwin Allen.

Kristen expected more from her character when she got the role, she also wanted a romance between Judy and series co-star Don West (Mark Goddard) to happen. But when Kristen mentioned the idea to Irwin Allen, her producer was uncomfortable with such a storyline happening in a kid's show. In one very early episode, when the space castaways go for a drive in the "chariot", we see a bit of soft romance happen between Judy and Don, but it only lasts for a second.

Despite not getting to do much in the series, when Judy was on screen, her male viewers watched with joy. And Kristen admits to being a fan of her episode, "Attack Of The Monster Plants", where an evil double of Judy is created by a giant plant.

Judy also got things to do in later color Lost In Space episodes like "A Visit To Hades" and "A Visit To A Hostile Planet".

Kristen appeared in The Fantasy Worlds Of Irwin Allen (1995) TV show, she still appears at sci-fi conventions in the USA and she even went as far as Australia to see fans a few years back.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: StuOz

Spouse (2)

Kevin Kane (4 May 1974 - 2016) (his death) (1 child)
Oswald Gooden (2 November 1963 - 9 March 1974) (divorced) (1 child)

Trivia (5)

She was born out of wedlock in Norway to a Finnish mother and a German soldier -- the German army was occupying Norway at the time -- who was later killed in combat. She was left in an Oslo orphanage at the age of two months. In 1949 she was adopted by an American couple and grew up in the United States.
She occasionally does nostalgia shows with Angela Cartwright.
In 1964 she auditioned for the role of Liesl Von Trapp in The Sound of Music (1965).
Was considered for the lead role in Lolita (1962), which eventually went to Sue Lyon.
Her original American name was Martha, but upon embarking on an acting career she changed it to the more European-sounding "Marta".

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