Ansara Passes

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Michael Ansara, best-known to Star Trek fans as Kang the Klingon Commander, is dead at the age of ninety-one.

Ansara died last Wednesday at his home in Calabasas, California from complications of Alzheimer’s disease.

Born in a small village in Syria on April 15 1922, Ansara and his family arrived in the United States when he was two years old. After living in Massachusetts, the Ansara family moved to Los Angeles in 1932.

Ansara originally planned a career in medicine before being bitten by the acting bug after studying acting at the Pasadena Playhouse in hopes of overcoming shyness.

The actor appeared in many television roles and often played ethnic roles in the 1950s and 1960s on television shows including shows such as: Broken Arrow, and Law of the Plainsman, where he played an Apache. He also played ethnic characters in some movies including 1956’s The Ten Commandments where he played an Egyptian taskmaster, and 1965’s Harum Scarum, where he portrayed an Arabian prince.

Other television shows on which he made appearances during the 1950s-1970s include Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, The Rifleman, The Untouchables, Perry Mason, The Outer Limits, Ben Casey, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Lost in Space, Bewitched, The Fugitive, The Mod Squad, The Streets of San Francisco, Hawaii 5-0 and Kojak.

Ansara played Kang on the original series, and reprised his character in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and on Star Trek: Voyager.

Married three times, Ansara’s second marriage to Barbara Eden (I Dream of Jeannie) produced a son, Matthew, who died in 2001.

Survivors include his third wife, Beverly Kushida, and a sister.

Source: The New York Times

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