Beloved Television Star Dead at 86

( – The actor Spencer Milligan, who was known for his role in the first two seasons of the Land of the Lost children’s TV series in the 1970s, passed away aged 86 on April 18, according to a published obituary.

Wesley Eure, who starred as the son of Milligan’s character in the show, wrote in a Facebook post that Milligan was, to him and many of the show’s fans, the “perfect dad.” Eure said they loved the actor’s kindness and sense of humor and extended his condolences to Milligan’s “lovely wife” and family.

In Land of the Lost, Milligan played Rick Marshall, who traveled back in time to the age of the dinosaurs along with his son Will, played by Eure, and his daughter Holly, played by Kathy Coleman. In her tribute, Kathy commented that Milligan was a “great man” who would be missed.

Milligan departed from the show after its second season following his demands that the cast should be compensated for the show’s merchandise, which included board games, coloring books, and lunch boxes. His replacement, Ron Harper, died in March 2024.

Milligan died in his adopted home of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. In the last two decades of his life, Milligan focused his efforts on the theater community. He directed plays and taught classes at Third Avenue Playworks, and his obituary noted his service to the community that would still be felt years later.

The actor will, however, be remembered most for his role in Land of the Lost, which was reimagined as a comedy film in 2009 starring Will Ferrell, Anna Friel, Danny McBride, and Leonard Nimoy. Milligan said in 2018 that the Land of the Lost was “part of television history.”

Milligan had numerous guest roles in definitive TV series of the era, such as Bionic Woman, Police Squad, Quincy M.E., Dukes of Hazzard, and Baretta. According to his obituary, though he met his wife Kerry late in life, he considered his marriage to her in 2002 his life’s “defining moment.” Milligan, originally from Oak Park in Illinois, is survived by Kerry and his three godchildren, who knew him as “Kunk.”

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