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Angela Cartwright (center) with Cast of Lost in Space

Angela Cartwright (center) with Cast of Lost in Space

2009 Interviews : Catching Up with Child Star Actress Angela Cartwright

Catching Up with Child Star Actress Angela Cartwright

By Chris Dunmire

Angela CartwrightDuring a recent airing of the biography show "Lost in Space Forever" (1998), I finally connected Will Robinson (Billy Mumy) with that creepy all-powerful kid who controlled an entire town in a nightmarish episode of "Twilight Zone." "Oh, that's who he is!" I cringed with shivery thoughts of not being a good thing and wished away 'to the cornfield'.

I'm always intrigued by 'Where are they now?' shows, especially when child stars are profiled in before-and-after segments. We viewers finally get the inside scoop on where the kids we watched growing up on television ended up in life. Sometimes it's on to another show, ' When Child Stars Go Bad', but most kids grow up just like the rest of us do with similar challenges and rewards — they go to school, get married, have children, nurture careers, and pursue that thing called happiness. For some, this means staying connected to show business; for others, leaving it behind.

Angela Cartwright, the dark-haired girl who played Penny Robinson on "Lost in Space" (the alien-monkey pet-toting teen) is definitely one child star who hasn't gone bad. When I learned this "Make Room for Daddy" and "Sound of Music" star has grown up to raise a family and successfully carve out a life as an artist along with her acting career, I went straight to the Internet to learn more.

Wikipedia gave me a detailed biography and filmography about Angela with links to her various art-related sites and online studio. When I visited her blog 'Said & Done — in the shadows of an unruly artist', I was thrilled to see that she was chronicling her creative journey online like so many other artists. Not only that, I learned that Angela is into altered art and photography, writes articles and books, sells art on Etsy, and creates rubber stamps sold by Stampington & Company. Wow!

Curious, I contacted Angela to see if she'd let me interview her for our Creative Careers in the Arts series. Knowing how busy actress/artists can be and all, I thought it might be a long shot, but was willing to risk the rejection. A week went by, then two, then three, and finally a month later I received an affirming response that took my breath away: "I'd be happy to."

After picking myself up off the floor (my first celebrity interview), I spent the next week percolating on possible questions I'd ask someone who's traveled to outer space. When I finally got over my star-struck "so what's it like living down here on earth with ordinary people" questions, the following Q & A manifested between us and a flood of TV show pictures and art images zinged into my inbox. See Angela up there in her spacesuit next to cornfield boy?

Thank you, Angela, for sharing your personal experiences, creative perspective, and beautiful artistic images with our creative community. Your insights and advice are affirming to all artists and will hopefully encourage anyone who may be 'lost in creative space' to begin a new exploration. Bloop.

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Updated 1/8/14