TV LEGEND MICHAEL ANSARA DEAD
BARBARA EDEN ex-hubby, STAR TREK fan fave, Outer Limits provocateur MICHAEL ANSARA sets sail for Final Frontier at 91.
Ansara, who was married to actress Barbara Eden of I Dream of Jeannie fame, died July 31 at his home in Calabasas, Calif., after a prolonged illness, his PR rep confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter.
Beloved by Star Trek fans Ansara is one of the fews actors to play the same character Klingon warrior Kang on three versions of the ground-breaking SF teleseries: Star Trek 1968 (in "Day of the Dove"), on Deep Space Nine (1994) and on Star Trek: Voyager (1996).
Born in Syria to American parents, Ansara starred as Native American Indians on two classic 1950s series: Broken Arrow as Cochise and as an Apache Deputy U.S. Marshal Sam Buckhart on Law of the Plainsman (a spin off from The Rifleman).
Ansra also starred in The Outer Limits series as Soldier a futurian sent back in time. That ep along with Demon With the Glass Hand were penned by Harlan Ellison who sued James Cameron charging that Cameron’s Terminator (1984) was a theft of his Limits eps. Ellison won the case and was credited on the later video release of the Arnold Schwarzenegger starrer.
Ansara appeared in motion pictures including 1953's Julius Caesar and The Robe (as Judas); Jupiter’s Darling (1955); 1961'sVoyage to the Bottom of the Sea (as well as the TV series, natch); The Comancheros (1961) with John Wayne; The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965); Guns of the Magnificent Seven (1969); The Bears and I (1974); The Message (1977); and It’s Alive (1974).
Every major TV show of the 1960s- 1970s featured at least one Ansara guest appearance from The Untouchables through Buck Rogers in the 25th Century -- as intergalactic baddie Killer Kane.
He also voiced Mr. Freeze/Sub Zero on no less than two Batman animated series.
Ansara was married to I Dream of Jeanie heartthrob Barbara Eden from 1958-74. Their son, an actor as well, Matthew Michael Ansara, 35, died in 2001 of an accidental heroin overdose.
Ansara was also married for a brief time in the 1950s to the late Jean Byron, who played the mom on The Patty Duke Show.