Who is Marta Kristen?

Fans of the series “Lost in Space” are certainly familiar with the character of Judy Robinson, and the actress who portrayed this character, Marta Kristen, is still known best for her role in this classic science-fiction series, also starring Guy Williams, Mark Goddard and June Lockhart.

Marta Kristen has 45 acting credits to her name, and besides the aforementioned role, she’s known for starring in numerous short movies, including “Breaking Point”, which brought her a nomination for GI Film Festival-San Diego Local Film Showcase Award for Best Actress, in 2019.

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Early life and education

Born Birgit Annalisa Rusanen on 26 February 1945, in Oslo, Norway, Marta spent her first years in an orphanage, after her mother, who was Finnish, left her there when her father, a German soldier died in World War II.

In 1949, Marta was adopted by Harold and Bertha Soderquist, a young couple from Detroit, Michigan USA, who renamed her Martha. Her adoptive father was a professor at Wayne University in Detroit, and she has a brother who was also adopted by the couple. When Marta grew up, she went to Finland and found her biological mother, and discovered that she also has a half-sister and half-brother.

When her father was on a sabbatical during 1959, the family moved to Los Angeles, California, and Marta stayed there with a guardian. She attended Santa Monica High School, from which she matriculated in 1963. She didn’t go to college, but pursued her acting career, performing under her stage name ‘Marta Kristen’.

Roles in series

Marta made her acting debut portraying Bonnie in an episode of the series “The Loretta Young Show” in 1960, followed by her recurring role in “My Three Sons” (1960-1964).

Concurrently, she was seen as Christine Staples in “Leave It to Beaver” in 1961, and in the same year, she made an appearance in two episodes of the series “Alfred Hitchcock Presents”. In 1963, Marta was seen in “The Dick Powell Theatre” and “Dr. Kildare”, while in the following year, she guest-starred in “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”

From 1965 until 1968, she was seen in 84 episodes of the series “Lost in Space”, which followed the story of a space colony family who struggle to survive after a stowaway throws their ship off course; Marta’s character Judy Robinson was the oldest child in the family. The series had five award nominations, including two for Primetime Emmys.

In the following years, Marta mostly guest starred, in numerous series including “Insight” (1969), “Mannix” (1972), and “Project U. F. O.” (1978). In the ‘80s, she was seen in “Trapper John, M. D.” (1985) and “Scarecrow and Mrs King” (1987), while her next role came in the 1994 series “Murphy Brown”, but also in just one episode.

After 15 years, she was seen in three episodes of the series “The Vamp Next Door”, a comedy-drama starring Rae Latt and Rachel Bailit.

Roles in movies

Marta made her first movie appearance portraying Lisbeth Searcy in the 1963 movie “Savage Sam”, based on the novel of the same title by Fred Gipson, and followed with her role as Lorelei in “Beach Blanket Bingo” in 1965.

She had an uncredited role in the 1971 movie “The Mephisto Waltz”, and then was seen as Lee Phillips in “Terminal Island” in 1973. In the same year, Marta was cast to play her first lead role as Humanity in the fantasy drama “Once”,.

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Next, she was seen in 1975, starring as Julie in “Gemini Affair”, opposite Anne Seymour and Kathy Kersh, followed by her role in the 1980 movie “Battle Beyond the Stars”.

Marta portrayed Mona in the 1987 movie “Strange Voices” before she was seen as Martha Troyer in another TV movie “Harvest of Fire” in 1996. In the following year, she portrayed Marilyn Beckett in “Below Utopia”, and then had a small part in the spin-off from the series “Lost in Space”, as Judy Robinson, in 1998, starring Matt LeBlanc, Gary Oldman and William Hurt, that had 17 award nominations and won three.

In 2015, Marta reprised her role as Judy Robinson in “Lost in Space: The Epilogue”, and then, she was seen in short movies such as “Ageless” (2016) and “Breaking Point” (2018).

Love life and relationships

Marta hasn’t been the subject of any controversies concerning her love life – it’s known that she was married twice. Her first marriage lasted from 1964 until 1973, with Terry Treadwell, a psychologist. The two have a daughter together, namely Lora Alison Treadwell, born on 11 November 1969; after she gave birth, Marta focused her career on doing commercials instead of movies and series.

In the following year, she met her future second husband, Kevin P. Kane, about whom little is known, except that he was an attorney. They married in 1974 and lived together until he died in 2016. Marta announcing his death through her official Facebook page.

What is she doing today?

Marta is someone who puts her family ahead of her career, and so she’s been moderately active when it comes to her acting career.

Her most recent role was her portrayal of Brenda in the short movie “Brenda & Oliver” in 2022, and she guest-starred as Pink Fish in an episode of the series “Benny the Barnacle”.

Marta has been quite busy filming two new projects, entitled “Southern Hard” and “Inspirit” which are currently in development.

Her fans will be happy to hear that she has finished the filming of her new movie “A Bachelor’s Valentine”, and that she will reprise her role as Judy Robinson in the announced movie “Escape from Earth!” which is currently filming, and it is expected to be released in 2023.

Net worth

This 77-year-old actress, with more than 50 years long career, has accumulated a decent amount of money acting in numerous movies, series, and TV commercials, so as of September 2022, Marta’s net worth has been estimated at over $1.5 million.

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