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Another Original Klingon Passes, Michael Ansara, 91

Would play Kang in the original series, DS9 and 'Voyager'

Star Trek has lost yet another original Klingon with the passing of actor Michael Ansara on July 31 at the age of 91.

Ansara, who played Kang in three different versions of Star Trek, had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Ansara's career dates back to the 1940s when he had small roles in films like "Intrigue" and "Queen Esther." He would move into television in the 1950s, appearing in shows like "China Smith," "Terry and the Pirates," "Dangerous Assignment" and "The Lone Ranger."

By the time he made it to "Star Trek" in 1968, Ansara was already a veteran actor with his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He had even already appeared in science-fiction -- taking a role as The Ruler in "Lost in Space" in 1966, and also appeared in shows like "The Outer Limits" and "Bewitched."

For his "Star Trek" appearance, Ansara played Kang in the episode "Day of the Dove," a third season episode that centered on a race that feeds off hatred, so they lure both humans and Klingons to their planet so they can feast. The episode was written by Jerome Bixby, who also wrote "Mirror, Mirror," "By Any Other Name" and "Requiem for Methuselah."

While it might not have been the most memorable Klingon role in the original series, Ansara would come back to play Kang two more times. The first was in the 1994 "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" episode "Blood Oath," which included other classic actors reprising their Klingon roles. Ansara would also play a different character, Jeyal, in the 1996 DS9 episode "The Muse."

Kang would also pop in on "Star Trek: Voyager" in 1996 for the 30th anniversary episode "Flashback."

Michael George Ansara was born April 15, 1922, in Syria, moving to the United States when he was a toddler. His family settled in Massachusetts, but later moved to California where Ansara -- originally wanting to become a doctor -- decided to take acting classes to overcome his shyness.

In 1956, he married Jean Byron, who died in 2006. They divorced in 1957, and Ansara would then marry "I Dream of Jeannie" star Barbara Eden, with whom they shared a child, son Matthew Ansara, who died in 2001 from a drug overdose.

After he and Eden divorced in 1974, Ansara would marry Beverly Kushida in 1977, and the two remained married until his death.

Ansara's death comes just weeks after the death of Victor Lundin, who has been credited as the first Klingon, mostly because he beat John Colicos through the door in the first episode the aliens appeared.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

About the Author
Michael Hinman is the founder and editor-in-chief for 1701News, Airlock Alpha and the entire GenreNexus. He owns Nexus Media Group Inc., the parent corporation of the GenreNexus, and a co-founder of 1701News. He lives in Tampa, Fla.

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