TOP  |   PREVIOUS ITEM  |  NEXT ITEM   ( 10 of 21 )


Updated: March 28, 2022

Marta was born Birgit Annalisa Rusanen in Finland 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 Oslo orphanage. In 1949, Professor and Mrs. Harold Soderquist of Detroit, Michigan adopted her, brought her to America; she was renamed Marta.

In 1959 the family moved to Los Angeles 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 and he arranged for her to get an agent she was quickly booked for TV programs such as "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (in one episode appearing with her future "Lost in Space" on-screen little brother, Bill Mumy, when he was only 5 years old), "The New Loretta Young Show" and many other popular TV series of the day. 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) and also appeared in Disney films. But she would forever be remembered for her signature role of Judy Robinson, eldest daughter of the first Earth family to venture into the unknown of outer space, in the "Lost in Space" TV series. However, the audience reaction to the show was not as great as expected, and Marta found that over the three years of production, her role (which wasn't very big to start with) was being gradually diminished. Marta said later 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 Actor's Studio, and I'm doing this ?". Even worse, the show did not feature her prominently in one of the most popular episodes, "The Sky Pirate", in which the Finnish-descent actor Albert Salmi guest starred, Marta had only one word of dialogue, (she gets to say "good-bye" to the pirate).

Off-screen, Marta tried to find her roots, but it was not until 1969, pregnant with her first child and travelling alone through Europe looking for her long lost relatives, that Marta was able to find her real 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 film work, however she appeared in over 40 TV commercials, which required less time away from home. Marta and her first husband divorced in 1973. In 1974, Marta met an attorney Kevin Kane, and they got married.

Marta has remained moderately active in TV and movies, and even appeared in the big screen version of "Lost in Space" (1998) in a cameo (along with Angela Cartwright) as a TV journalist. And she is still finding more family members in 1997 she discovered that she has a younger brother living in Sydney, Australia and another sister in Finland that she didn't know about. And she puts her own family ahead of her career, helping to raise her granddaughter, her daughter Laura's child, Lena. When Marta visited Australia for a "Lost in Space" convention for her Aussie fans in October, 2001, she brought her entire family, including Lena, with her.

Marta still occasionally attends "Lost in Space" and science-fiction conventions, delighting her many fans even as far-flung as Australia, and she also occasionally attends nostalgia and autograph shows with her former "Lost in Space" on-screen sister, Angela Cartwright.

Please see Marta Kristen's complete TV and movie filmography below:

Actress - Filmography

1. Lost in Space (1998) .... Reporter No. 1 ... aka LS (1998) (USA: promotional abbreviation) 2. Below Utopia (1997) .... Marilyn Beckett ... aka Body Count (1997/II) (video title) 3. Harvest of Fire (1996) .... Martha Troyer 4. Fantasy Worlds of Irwin Allen, The (1995) .... Herself 5. Strange Voices (1987) (TV) .... Mona 6. Battle Beyond the Stars (1980) .... Lux 7. Gemini Affair (1974) .... Julie 8. Once (1974) .... Humanity 9. Terminal Island (1973) .... Lee Phillips ... aka Knuckle-Men (1973) (UK) 10. "Lost in Space" (1965) TV Series .... Judy Robinson 11. Beach Blanket Bingo (1965) .... Lorelei 12. Savage Sam (1963) .... Lisbeth Searcy

Filmography as: Actress, Notable TV Guest Appearances

Notable TV Guest Appearances

1. "Murphy Brown" (1988) playing "Norwegian Mother" in episode: "Fjord Eyes Only" (episode # 6.18) 31 January 1994 2. "Scarecrow and Mrs. King" (1983) playing "Lena Spickens" in episode: "Rumors of My Death" (episode # 4.14) 23 January 1987 3. "Our Time" (1985) playing "Herself" (episode # 1.5) 24 August 1985 4. "Wildside" (1985) playing "Ellen Jonsen" in episode: "The Crimea of the Century" (episode # 1.3) 4 April 1985 5. "Trapper John, M.D." (1979) in episode: "In the Eyes of the Beholder" (episode # 6.20) 24 March 1985 6. "Fame" (1982) playing "Dede Callahan" in episode: "Danny De Bergerac" (episode # 4.17) 16 February 1985 7. "Remington Steele" (1982) playing "Blonde" in episode: "Signed, Steeled and Delivered" (episode # 1.4) 29 October 1982 8. "Mannix" (1967) playing "Aileen" in episode: "A Game of Shadows" (episode # 6.137) 24 December 1972 9. "Wagon Train" (1957) playing "Wanda Snow" in episode: "The Wanda Snow Story" (episode # 8.16) 17 January 1965 10. "Man from U.N.C.L.E., The" (1964) playing "Felicia Lavimore" in episode: "The Neptune Affair" (episode # 1.11) 8 December 1964 11. "My Three Sons" (1960) playing "Lorraine Pendleton" in episode: "A Serious Girl" (episode # 5.2) 24 September 1964 12. "Mr. Novak" (1963) playing "Gail Andrews" in episode: "The Senior Prom" (episode # 1.30) 14 April 1964 13. "Eleventh Hour, The" (1962) playing "Darleen Landon" in episode: "Four Feet in the Morning" (episode # 2.9) 27 November 1963 14. "Dr. Kildare" (1961) playing "Darleen Landon" in episode: "Four Feet in the Morning" (episode # 3.9) 21 November 1963 15. "My Three Sons" (1960) playing "Linda Francis" in episode: "Going Steady" (episode # 3.13) 1962 16. "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (1955) playing "Jiffy Snack Girl" in episode: "Bang! You're Dead" (episode # 7.2) 17 October 1961 17. "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (1955) in episode: "The Gloating Place" (episode # 6.31) 16 May 1961 18. "Leave It to Beaver" (1957) playing "Christine Staples" in episode: "Wally and Dudley" (episode # 4.25) 18 March 1961 19. "Shirley Temple's Storybook" (1958) 1961 20. "My Three Sons" (1960) playing "Peggy Meredith" in episode: "Spring Will Be a "Little Late" (episode # 1.11) 8 December 1960 21. "Letter to Loretta" (1953) in episode: "The Glass Cage" (episode # 8.7) 30 October 1960

Send me your Comments:
Your Name:
Your Email Address:
Comments: is owned by Robert Vanderpool. Copyright Robert Vanderpool. All rights reserved. All other Trademarks and Copyrights are property of their respected owners. Copyright Policy.