News via Blastr that the creator of Robby the Robot from Forbidden Planet has died at age 100. I must admit that I didn’t know who he was but it seems I did enjoy a lot of his work over the years and Forbidden Planet was one of thos early Sci Fi movies I discovered and loved.
In a career that spanned nearly five decades, Robert Kinoshita worked as a set designer, art director, production designer and producer on numerous film and television projects, but he’s most famous today as the designer of both the B9 robot on the classic ’60s TV series Lost in Space and Robby the Robot from the epic science fiction film Forbidden Planet, both of which remained classic robot designs long after movie robots had moved on to very different looks.
Born in Los Angeles on Feb. 24, 1914, Kinoshita quickly became interested in the movies and was working on films as early as 1937. His career was interrupted during World War II, when he and his wife Lillian were sent to an internment camp in Arizona. A sponsor was able to get the Kinoshitas out of the camp before the end of the war, but rather than return to Hollywood, they opted to move to Wisconsin, where Robert worked as an industrial designer.
By the early 1950s, though, he was back in California just in time to work on Forbidden Planet. Kinoshita helped design several sets for the film, including Dr. Morbius’ lab, but today he’s most famous as the man credited with Robby the Robot. Working from several different designs generated by MGM’s art department, Kinoshita produced a model of Robby that was then approved for full-sized construction, and the dome-headed robot is still famous today even among fans who’ve never seen Forbidden Planet.