For nearly two decades, from 1954 to 1973, Lassie, the well-known Rough Collie dog, captivated our screens with her exciting adventures. And who could forget the adorable little boy who joined Lassie in the show’s fourth season? 7-year-old Timmy Martin, played by Jon Provost, melted our hearts.

Now celebrating his 72nd birthday, Jon Provost shares the joy he experienced while filming alongside his furry friend and how he landed the role in Hollywood at just 3 years old. Jon’s journey began when his mother, a huge fan of Jane Wyman, took him to an audition for one of her movies. Out of 200 kids, Jon was the one who caught the casting director’s eye.

Growing up, Jon’s family was far from the Hollywood scene. His father was an aeronautical engineer from Alabama, and his mother hailed from Texas. However, at the age of 4, Jon got his first break in a movie starring Grace Kelly and Bing Crosby. This opened doors for him, leading him to star in around 12 movies before his iconic role in “Lassie.”

During his 7-year stint on the show, Jon worked with three different dogs who played Lassie. But it was the last dog he worked with that he formed the strongest bond with. They spent five years together, seeing each other almost every day. Jon even admits that the dog was better behaved than the human actors!

After leaving “Lassie” at the age of 14, Jon continued his acting career, starring alongside Natalie Wood and Kurt Russell. Unlike many child actors, Jon managed to avoid the pitfalls of Hollywood fame. He credits his parents for giving him the freedom to choose his own path and believes it was the right decision to leave Hollywood when he did.

Today, Jon enjoys a quiet life in Northern California but still receives fan mail from his time on “Lassie.” In 1994, he was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Meanwhile, Lassie’s popularity soared even higher, leading to a thrilling radio series featuring the beloved canine character.

In 1979, Jon married Sandy Goosens, and they had two children together. Unfortunately, after 14 years of marriage, they divorced in 1993. But love found Jon again in 1999 when he married Laurie Jacobson, a well-known researcher and author.

As a fan of the adventures of Lassie and Timmy, I cherished every episode. With its heartwarming stories and valuable life lessons, the show was perfect for kids. If you know any other “Lassie” fans, please share this with them.