Childhood & Early Life
June Lockhart was born on June 25, 1925 in New York to Gene Lockhart and Kathleen Arthur Lockhart. Her mother was a prominent British-American actress, while her father was a Canadian-American character actor, singer and lyricist who also performed on Broadway. June grew up in California and graduated from Westlake School for Girls, Beverly Hills.
Since her parents worked in the film industry, June got several film roles as a child actor. She made her debut in the 1938 film ‘A Christmas Carol’, which starred her parents in leading roles. She later appeared in movies, such as ‘All This, and Heaven Too’ (1940), ‘Sergeant York’ (1941), ‘Miss Annie Rooney’ (1942), and ‘Forever and a Day’ (1943).
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June Lockhart received her first major film role in the crime noir ‘She-Wolf of London’ in 1946. In the next year, she was seen in ‘T-Men’ as Mary Genaro and as Barbara Carlin in ‘Bury Me Dead’. At this point in her career, she started focusing on TV and stage and did not appear in films until the 1980s.
In 1947, she appeared in the production of ‘For Love or Money’, which was praised by many critics. She also won a Tony award for her performance in this play. Her next Broadway appearance was in the biographical play ‘Kin Hubbard’ alongside Tom Ewell in 1951.
She made her TV debut in 1949 as Amy March in an episode of ‘The Ford Theatre Hour’. She was next seen as Eve Patrick in the sci-fi drama ‘Science Fiction Theatre’ (1956). Her other TV appearances of this period include ‘The Alcoa Hour’ and ‘Studio 57’. She also played the recurring role of Faye Cameron in the anthology series ‘Schlitz Playhouse of Stars’.
From 1951 to 1959, Lockhart worked in several TV series, namely ‘Lux Video Theatre’, ‘Studio One in Hollywood’, ‘The United States Steel Hour’, and ‘Robert Montgomery Presents’. Other single episode appearances include playing Connie in ‘Matinee Theatre’ (1958), Allie Cary in ‘Zane Grey Theatre’ (1958), and Emily Newton in ‘Cimarron City’ (1958).
She received her breakthrough in 1958 when she was cast as Ruth Martin in the CBS series ‘Lassie’, a role she played for seven years and appeared in over 200 episodes. She was also nominated for an Emmy for her role on the show.
Following her ‘Lassie’ stint, she made several guest appearances in award-winning TV series, such as ‘Perry Mason’ (1964), ‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E’ (1964), and ‘Mrs. Novak’ (1965). She bagged the leading role of Dr. Maureen Robinson in the sci-fi series ‘Lost in Space’, which ran from 1965 to 1968. Lockhart appeared in all the episodes.
She played several small roles on TV until she starred in the sitcom ‘Petticoat Junction’ as Dr. Janet Craig, from 1968 to 1970. This proved to be among her last recurring roles in her TV career as she mostly appeared in single episodes henceforth.
Her most notable roles from the 1970s and 1980s include playing Mariah Ramirez in ‘General Hospital’, Claudia Wentworth in ‘Ellery Queen’, and Mrs. Migley in ‘The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries’.
Lockhart made her comeback in films with ‘Butterfly’ in 1982 as Mrs. Helen Gillespie. In 1986, she starred as Eunice St. Clair in the film ‘Troll’, while the younger version of her character was played by her daughter Anne Lockhart.
Lockhart was also a voice actress who voiced for the role of Martha Day, the lead character in the Hanna-Barbera animated series ‘These Are the Days’ (1974-1975). In 1982, she became the voice of Aladdin’s mother in the animated film ‘Aladdin and the Magic Lamp’.
Apart from acting, she was also a remarkable host who presented both ‘Miss Universe Pageant’ and ‘Miss USA Pageant’ for six years. Additionally, she hosted ‘Tournament of Roses Parade’ for eight years and the ‘Thanksgiving Parade’ for five years.
Her latest appearances include the biography film ‘Wesley’ (2007) and the TV film ‘Holiday in Handcuffs’ (2007). She was seen as Agnes in the hit TV sitcom ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ in 2006, and played Margaret Leonard in the 2014 video game ‘Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure’. Her last screen appearance was as Irene O'Connor in the comedy film ‘The Remake’ (2016).
Awards & Achievements
She has been awarded two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contributions to the world of films and television.
Lockhart was nominated for Emmy awards twice in her career - in 1953 and 1959.
In 2013, she was awarded the Exceptional Public Achievement Medal by NASA for inspiring the general public about space and space exploration.