RAPPING WITH MUMY
THE 'LOST IN SPACE' SON GROWS UP
He’s no longer Billy the kid — the child star from ”Lost in Space.” And at 41 he doesn’t really see himself as a William. Let’s just say he’s a Bill of all trades.
These days, Bill Mumy is most visible as the soulful aide-de-camp Lennier on the syndicated series ”Babylon 5.” But he’s also a musician who has worked with the folk-rock band America and received an Emmy nomination for composing songs for Disney’s ”Adventures in Wonderland”; the frontman for the garage band the Jenerators and the novelty-rock act Barnes & Barnes; a voice-over talent on ”Batman: The Animated Series” and other cartoons; a comic-book writer; and cocreator of a sci-fi sitcom pilot for Nickelodeon called ”Space Cases.” ”Space,” Mumy says wryly, ”is just an arena I’m very comfortable in.”
He should be. He spent three years lost there. Yet when ”Lost in Space” went off the air in 1968, the 14-year-old couldn’t wait to concentrate on music. ”I did not want people walking up to me going ” ‘Danger! Danger, Will Robinson!’ ” says Mumy. ”I wouldn’t have anything to do with ”Lost in Space” for three or four years. But by the time I was 23, I realized, hey, this thing is never going to go away, it’s in syndication all around the world, and I’m proud of my work on it.” In 1980, he cowrote a reunion script that he says got the go- ahead from CBS and the producing studio, Twentieth Century Fox, only to be quashed by series creator Irwin Allen. ”He wouldn’t read it. He wouldn’t even discuss the plot,” says Mumy, still stung. ”You’d think I was trying to submit a song to the Beatles.”
Still, Mumy appreciates his good fortune. ”I am lucky,” he says, ”and I know it.” He and his wife, Eileen — a birth educator who consulted on the film ”Angie” — have two kids, Liliana, 1, and Seth, 5, who costars in the upcoming Patrick Swayze drama ”Three Wishes.”
For all his fictional space traveling, Mumy confesses that he still gets lost in spacious L.A. ”I’ve lived here all my life, and when I go out on auditions or to meetings, I just don’t know what number freeway is what.”