Predictions of contrast performance for the Eclipse coronagraphic telescope are based on computational models that are tested and validated with laboratory experience. We review recent laboratory work in the key technology areas for an actively-corrected space telescope designed for extremely high contrast imaging of nearby planetary systems. These include apodized coronagraphic masks, precision deformable mirrors, and coronagraphic algorithms for wavefront sensing and correction, as integrated in the high contrast imaging testbed at JPL. Future work will focus on requirements for the Terrestrial Planet Finder coronagraph mission.© (2004) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.