Robby the Robot: Forbidden Planet’s Synthetic Scene Stealer

A true sci-fi classic, Forbidden Planet has thrilled audiences since it was released back in 1956. This milestone science fiction adventure, loosely based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest, details what happens when a rescue ship’s crew locates the survivors of an interplanetary expedition. However, all is not as it should be, and an eons-old force of great power and evil may destroy them all. Will they be able to get off the planet, or will it they meet their tragic fate there. Leslie Nielsen, Anne Francis, Walter Pidgeon, and Robby the Robot star. Designed by Robert Kinoshita for the picture, the sleek robot became a pop culture sensation, resulting in several more appearances on TV, in film, and on commercials. Why, Robby still pops up on TV from time to time. Here’s a look at some of his finest moments.

Let’s talk about Robby for a minute, as he is something of a breakout star from the flick, having gone on to co-star in The Invisible Boy. Take a look:

He later made a memorable appearance on Lost in Space:

Here’s a K-Tel commercial from the 1970s starring Robby:

Robby, in his lean years, even helped Mr. Whipple keep people from squeezing Charmin toilet paper. Well, kind of:

These are but a mere sampling of Robby’s pop culture appearances. (For example, he also had a memorable cameo in Gremlins). But for an artificial lifeform, he sure had heart, making him a true sci-fi icon!