Friday, August 2, 2013
Never to be Forgotten:
Michael Ansara 1922-2013
Michael Ansara, whose career spanned from 1944 to 2001, died on Wednesday at the age of 91 after a long illness. About the only 1960s sci-fi TV show he missed was The Twilight Zone. He starred in an Outer Limits episode written by Harlan Ellison, he was on all four Irwin Allen sci-fi shows (Lost in Space, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Land of the Giants, The Time Tunnel) and played Commander Kang in the first Star Trek episode to feature Klingons. He also played a character named Elric on an episode of Babylon 5.
Born in Syria, much of his career away from sci-fi was in roles as Native Americans or Arabs. He was married to Barbara Eden from 1958 to 1974. He appeared on I Dream Of Jeannie as The Blue Djinn, among other roles.
Ansara and Eden had a son Matthew Ansara, who died of a heroin overdose in 2001.
On the original series, the Klingons were overshadowed as villains by the Romulans. The Klingons were sometimes portrayed as comic foils, most notably in The Trouble With Tribbles, while the Romulans were always ruthless and worthy opponents. None of this can be blamed on Michael Ansara. His portrayal of Kang was completely bad ass, and he returned on later Star Trek series as a Klingon several times, including a character named Kang.
Best wishes to the family and friends of Michael Ansara, from a fan. He is never to be forgotten.