Michael Ansara

Michael Ansara
Los Angeles Times


Michael Ansara
TV: South side of the 6600 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Born April 15, 1922
Died July 31, 2013 of complications from Alzheimer's in Calabasas, Calif.

Michael Ansara was a Syrian-born actor often cast as a Native American in TV westerns. He starred as Cochise in "Broken Arrow" and Deputy U.S. Marshal Sam Buckhart in "Law of the Plainsman" before playing the memorable Klingon Kang in "Star Trek."

Ansara was born April 15, 1922, in Syria and moved with his family to New England as a young child, according to family spokesman Michael Druxman. The family lived in Massachusetts and New Hampshire before moving to Los Angeles. Ansara studied at L.A. City College and the Pasadena Playhouse.

He had small parts in films and TV series in the early 1950s before landing the role of the Apache chief in "Broken Arrow" in 1956. The series ran on ABC for two years, and in 1959 he starred as an Apache who became a lawman in "Law of the Plainsman," a spinoff of the popular ABC western "The Rifleman."

After "Law of the Plainsman" ended in 1960, Ansara made frequent appearances on television into the '90s. His many credits include "Rawhide," "Daniel Boone," "Gunsmoke," "McMillan and Wife," "Police Story," "Rambo" and the miniseries "Centennial." He also was the voice of Mr. Freeze in various animated "Batman" series.

Ansara first played Kang on the original "Star Trek" series in 1968 and was brought back for "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" (as Kang and, later, as the Tavnian Jeyal) and "Star Trek: Voyager."

He was married to actress Jean Byron of "The Patty Duke Show" before marrying Barbara Eden, the star of "I Dream of Jeannie." Ansara and Eden had one son, Matthew. The couple divorced in 1973, and their son died of an accidental drug overdose in 2001.

The actor, who passed away at his Calabasas home on July 31, 2013, is survived by his third wife, actress Beverly Kushida, and a sister.

— Los Angeles Times staff and wire reports Aug. 2, 2013

For the record: A previous version of this page incorrectly gave Ansara's place of birth as Lowell, Mass.

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