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The Asian ApertureRobert Kinoshita Tribute
POSTED BY JASON FETTERS, January 18, 2015    Share

On December 9th, 2014, the science fiction community lost a true icon when Robert Kinoshita passed away. He created three famous robots, pre-Star Wars that delighted children and SF fans worldwide. While Eiji Tsuburaya was working creating special effects for Godzilla movies, Kinoshita was designing robots for American television.

Born in Los Angeles on February 24th, 1910, Robert and his wife, Lillian, were forced into a Japanese internment camp during World War II. A sponsor got them out before the war was over. Soon his big break would happen.

Robert Kinoshita created his first great robot called Tobor for the 1954 movie from Republic Pictures called Tobor the Great. In Tobor an 11-year old boy called Gadge develops a psychic link to Tobor who has been captured by enemy agents and forced to attack the United States. Gadge with the assistance pf two scientists try to save Tobor and prevent the robot from being reprogrammed.

Tobor the Great became a big hit and a hero to 50’s kids hungry for SF.

Next, Robert constructed Robby the Robot for the SF classic Forbidden Planet (1956,) for MGM that was based on an initial design by Arnold Gillespie, refined by illustrator, Mentor Huebner. However it was Kinoshita who actually built Robby and brought him to life.

Robby is an iconic robot that made numerous appearances in movies and television. Kinoshita next major robot was just around the corner.

While working in the art department for 20th Century Fox, Robert Kinoshita, was discovered by Irwin Allen and hired as the art director for the first season of Lost in Space. It was while working on this show that his third iconic robot would debut called B-9, Class M-3 General Utility Non-Theorizing Environmental Control Robot, and in the series simply called Robot.

With his bubble head and wide range of emotions, robot, went on to win over the hearts of millions during Lost in Space, initial run from 1965 to 1968 and later on forever in syndication.

Like his buddy Robby, robot made a few post Lost in Space appearance, such as, the children’s show, Mystery Island.

Robert Kinoshita has made his mark in science fiction that will never be erased as new generations discover his amazing robot creations. He lived to be 100 and his legacy will continue.

Long live his spirit!!

"The Asian Aperture" is ©2015 by Jason Fetters. All contents of Crazed Fanboy are ©2015 by Nolan B. Canova and Terence Nuzum.

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