Jon Provost is a former child actor of film and television. He is best known for his role as young Timmy Martin in the CBS series, Lassie.
At the age of four, Provost was cast in the film The Country Girl, starring Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly. He then appeared in Back from Eternity with Anita Ekberg and Escapade in Japan, again with Ekberg and an unknown Clint Eastwood.
In 1957, Provost acquired the role of Timmy Martin in the CBS television series Lassie. He joined the show at the top of the fourth season as co-star to Tommy Rettig, Jan Clayton, and George Cleveland. Midpoint in the season, George Cleveland died and the show was completely revamped with Provost becoming the human star after the departures of Rettig and Clayton. Hugh Reilly and June Lockhart joined the show in 1958 as Timmy’s parents. For seven seasons, 1957?1964, audiences grew to love Timmy and his adventures with Lassie. In 1964, however, Provost was fourteen and chose not to renew his contract though Campbell’s Soup Company, the sponsor, wanted three more years. With Provost out of the picture, the format of the series was revamped. The Martins were sent to Australia to teach agriculture while Lassie was forced to remain in the States due to quarantine regulations. Robert Bray was then cast as forest ranger Corey Stuart, Lassie’s new owner from 1964-1968. Provost’s career as a television child star ended, and he left show business when he was eighteen. He received a bachelor of arts degree in psychology and worked for a time in the field of special education.