When it comes to memorable and iconic television series, it’s safe to say that “Lassie” is on that list. The show followed the adventures of a dog named Lassie and her trusty companions, both human and animal. Airing from 1954 to 1973, the show is the sixth longest-running primetime television series in the United States with its 17 seasons and syndication.
During its time on air, “Lassie” was beloved by many fans and went on to receive several awards and award nominations. The show also helped further launch the career of some of its stars, with notable standouts including Jan Clayton, Tommy Rettig and Jon Provost.
As an actor, Provost is still to this day most famous for his role as Timmy on “Lassie.” He starred on the show for most of its run, first appearing in the fourth season in 1957 and followed through with many of the following seasons. Provost was just a young boy at the time, but proved to be a valuable addition to the series as “Lassie” received some of its highest ratings following Timmy’s arrival. Provost even returned to the small screen in 1989 to return as a new character in “The New Lassie.”
Provost has led a very successful career following his time on “Lassie.” Nowadays, he is in his 70s and still has a lot to celebrate in his life. He is still active in the acting industry and even has a new project in the works. Read on to find out more about Provost’s rise to fame and his upcoming career plans.
Provost was born on March 12, 1950, in Los Angeles, California. When he was just 4 years old, he was cast in “The Country Girl,” which starred icons Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly. Afterward, the rising actor continued to find work appearing in several other films.
The year 1957 turned out to be one of Provost’s most life-changing years. He obtained the role of Timmy Martin on the series “Lassie.” He came on during the fourth season and was quickly made into a primary character alongside his trusty furry companion, Lassie.
According to Dogster, part of Provost’s audition was to see how well he got along with Lassie. Rudd Weatherwax, the man who trained the dog, was unsure about how the two would get on. Provost ended up staying at his ranch for three days to get better acquainted with Lassie, and the rest is history.
“We got along really well,” Provost said. “Basically, Lassie gave me two paws up and I got the role.”
Lassie wasn’t the only one who liked Provost. The show’s ratings were through the roof once Timmy became a central character, and Provost was instantly catapulted into fame. However, in 1964, he chose to not renew his contract.
Speaking with Fox News, Provost reflected on his time on the popular series. He said:
“I did the show for seven years, 249 half-hour episodes. I worked with three different Lassies. The last dog I worked with, I worked with him for five years alone. We always had one Lassie on set. That dog, I loved that dog and he loved me. We grew up together.”
There seems to be a sort of Mandela effect surrounding “Lassie,” as many people recalled an episode where Timmy fell down a well, but Provost said that “it never happened.” He added, “And when I wrote my autobiography ‘Timmy’s in the Well,’ I read the synopsis of every episode. There was never an episode where I fell in a well.”
Nowadays, Provost is still very active in the entertainment industry. Speaking with Fox News in 2019, he said:
“I’m still involved in the business. I do some voice-over work. It just goes on. And people from all over the world are still watching Lassie. I still get fan mail from all over the world and they’re really, really nice letters from people saying ‘I didn’t have a childhood but I grew up with you and I escaped.’”
It’s not common for child stars to fall off in Hollywood. However, Provost is living proof that you can be successful at any and every age. Following his time on “Lassie,” he continued to act until 1970, and then took a bit of a break from fame. He briefly returned in 1989 to appear on “The New Lassie,” before taking another break.
Since then, Provost’s work has been far and few, but he has continued to take on jobs that bring him joy. According to IMDB, he is set to star in the science fiction film “Colonials,” which is in its post-production stages. Provost has also broadened his talents and is on track to become a podcast star as he is filming the podcast series “Heroes of Extinction.”
What do you think about Jon Provost’s life and career? Let us know, and be sure to send this to any “Lassie” fans you know!