Michael Ansara has died at age 91 in his home in Calabasas, California. His publicist confirmed the passing of Star Trek’s original Klingon warrior Kang on Friday.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Ansara died after a protracted battle against Alzheimer’s disease.
He was born in Syria in 1922 but moved with his family to America when he was only two. The attractive actor played the role of Cochise, a Native-American, in 1950s era western Broken Arrow.
He also appeared in other westerns and indeed many other television episodes.
Michael Ansara was married to I Dream of Jeannie beauty Barbara Eden for 16 years and guest starred in the role of the Blue Djinn who put Jeannie in the bottle.
However, Ansara is best known to fans today as the first Klingon. In the iconic role of Kang, he appeared on Star Trek: The Original Series, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager.
The Star Trek official website noted that fans embraced Ansara’s Kang from the very beginning. He first appeared in a 1960s era Star Trek: TOS episode called Day Of The Dove. His last appearance as Kang was in the 1996 Voyager episode Flashback.
In other words, his Star Trek career just by itself spanned three decades.
He had a ten-minute starter marriage to his first wife in the mid-1950s. The marriage to Barbara Eden lasted 16 years from 1958 to 1974 and produced a son, Matthew Ansara. Sadly, he died at the age of 35 of a drug overdose.
The character actor eventually found a lasting marriage with his third wife. At the time of his death, Michael Ansara and Beverly Kushida had been married for 36 years.
[Michael Ansara as Kang photo Star Trek Official Website]
[B/W Broken Arrow publicity still of Anthony Caruso, John Lupton, and Michael Ansara as Cochise via Wikimedia]