Today is a good day to remember one of the greatest Klingons in Star Trek history, or at least the actor who played him. The late Michael Ansara portrayed the formidable Klingon Kang in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode Day of the Dove and reprized the role decades later in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode Blood Oath and in the Star Trek: Voyager episode “Flashback”. He also had guest appearances as Jeyal, a Tavnian who was married to Lwaxana Troi (Majel Barrett), in the Deep Space Nine episode “The Muse”. Ansara, who died in 2013, would have been 100 years old on April 15.
In “Day of the Dove,” Kang, his wife Mara (Susan Howard) and his crew land aboard the Enterprise. Tensions and suspicions are already in the air between the Klingons and Kirk and his crew when an alien energy being that feeds on anger and violence continues to manipulate them all into fighting. Only by acting like friends and literally laughing the aliens off the ship is the situation resolved, with Kang and Kirk leading the way.
Kang was noble
“What a great character!” Ansara enthusiastically Starlog Magazine for an interview that ran in January 1989. He added, “As soon as I read the script, I knew how special the role was and how rare it was to find a character like this on TV or film. Kang had distinction and that’s a trait that has always fascinated me.”
Ansara played Kang in both Deep Space Nine and Voyager, but the character looked completely different. So did Ansara’s recurring cast mates John Colicos and William Campbell, who played Kor and Koloth, respectively. Colicos, who first portrayed Kor in Errand of Mercy, reprized the role in the Deep Space Nine episode, Blood Oath, The Sword of Kahless, and Once More Unto the Breach, while Campbell Koloth moved to The Trouble with Tribbles came to life after a cameo as Trelane in The Squire of Gothos, and he was back as Koloth in Blood Oath. The three actors looked humanoid in their first appearances in The Original Series, but were made more like Worf and other Klingons from the Star Trek: The Next Generation era when the trio of older Klingons in Blood Oath “ merged. ”
“The Klingon makeup on the old ‘Star Trek’ was a lot simpler than it was on ‘Deep Space Nine,'” Ansara said in a subsequent interview with starlog in 1996. “It took four hours to put the makeup on and two hours to take it off! You had to be in the studio at four or five in the morning and you don’t go until late at night. That ‘new look’ they have for the Klingons, the putty on the head and all that was a lousy dress to wear. So I enjoyed the original more than this new one.”
Kang returns for Blood Oath
When Ansara died in 2013 at the age of 91, many of the obituaries stressed his “Star Trek” connection. The truth was that the actor – the loud IMDB, born in Syria and raised by his American parents first in New England and then in California – had a remarkably long and successful career. His first credits date back to 1944 and spanned through 2001. He played the Native American character Cochise in Broken Arrow from 1956 to 1958 and Marshal Sam Buckhart in Law of the Plainsman from 1959 to 1960.
Ansara’s numerous other credits have included Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy, Julius Caesar, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Tarzan, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (both the film and the spinoff series) , “The Time Tunnel”, “The Outer Limits” (the episode “Soldier”, written by “Star Trek” legend Harlan Ellison), “The Greatest Story Ever Told”, “The Fugitive”, “Gunsmoke”, “I Dream of Jeannie” (with his second wife, Barbara Ed), It’s Alive, Barbary Coast (with William Shatner), Here Come the Brides (which reunited him with Susan Howard), Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Fantasy Island, Murder, She wrote” and “Babylon 5”.
Toward the end of his career, according to IMDB, he provided the voice of Dr. Victor Fries/Mr. Freeze on several “Batman” animated projects: “Batman: The Animated Series”, “The New Batman Adventures”, “Batman & Mr. Freeze: Subzero”, “Batman Beyond” and his last credit “Batman: Vengeance”. Ansara has also been a fan favorite at Star Trek conventions and on Star Trek cruises, occasionally sharing the stage with John Colicos and William Campbell.
Ansara died on July 31, 2013 at his home in Calabasas, California after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease The Hollywood Reporter. He had died in 2001 from his only child, Matthew, with Barbara Eden. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Matthew died of an accidental drug overdose. Ansara was survived by his wife Beverly Kushida.
In addition to the many films and shows he left behind, Ansara was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in a ceremony on February 8, 1960. It is located at 6666 Hollywood Boulevard.
https://heavy.com/entertainment/star-trek/klingon-actor-would-be-turning-100/ This Klingon actor would live to be 100 years old