‘Star Trek’ Actor, Known for Many TV and Film Roles, Dead at 91

Aug 5, 2013  •  Post A Comment

An actor who became a familiar face playing Native American characters — who also played a Klingon commander on the original "Star Trek" TV series and two of the show’s TV spinoffs — has died. The New York Times reports that Michael Ansara died Wednesday at 91.

Ansara, who was born in Syria, often played ethnic roles, including many Native American characters in TV and film Westerns. His film career started with "Action in Arabia" in 1944, but he became a TV star in the 1950s when he portrayed the Apache chief Cochise on the ABC show "Broken Arrow."

He later starred as Deputy U.S. Marshal Sam Buckhart on NBC’s "Law of the Plainsman."

On "Star Trek," he portrayed the Klingon leader Kang on the original TV series and its later spinoffs "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" and "Star Trek: Voyager." He was one of the few actors to play the same part on three different "Star Trek" series.

His many TV performances spanned five decades, going back to the early days of the medium with appearances on "Family Theatre" in 1951 and "The Lone Ranger" in 1952. He was also seen on "The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin," "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," "Naked City," "The Rifleman," "Wagon Train" and "Perry Mason," among many other early TV appearances.

Later in his career, he appeared as Kane on "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century" and made appearances on "Days of Our Lives," "Hunter" and a number of other shows.

Ansara’s film work included roles in the 1953 Marlon Brando movie "Julius Caesar," the sci-fi adventure "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" (1961) and the Elvis Presley movie "Harum Scarum" (1965), among many other films.

Ansara was married to "I Dream of Jeannie" star Barbara Eden from 1958-1974, his second of three marriages.


Michael Ansara in 1959 on "Law of the Plainsman"

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