Michael Ansara (1922 - 2013) MP

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Birthplace: Syria
Death: Died
Occupation: Stage, screen, and voice actor.
Managed by: Liz B.
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Michael Ansara

Though best known for his Native American characterizations, Michael Ansara is actually of Lebanese extraction. He is best known for his portrayal of Cochise in the American television series Broken Arrow, Kane in the 1979-81 series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Commander Kang on three different Star Trek TV series and Deputy U.S. Marshal Sam Buckhart on the NBC series, Law of the Plainsman. For his contribution to the television industry, Ansara was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6666 Hollywood Blvd.

Asara was born on April 15, 1922 in a small village in Syria, and his family immigrated to the United States when he was two years old. They resided in Lowell, Massachusetts, for a decade before moving to California. He originally wanted to be a physician but developed a passion for becoming a performer after he began taking acting classes to overcome his shyness. He was educated at the Los Angeles City College, from which Ansara earned a B.A..

During the 1950s, Ansara appeared in several episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents but it was his uncredited appearance as the tormented Judas in The Robe (1953) that got the attention of Hollywood's higher-ups. He went on to be cast as Cochise in the 1956 TV series version of the 1950 20th Century-Fox feature Broken Arrow which made him a household name. While making the series, the 20th Century-Fox publicity department arranged a date between Ansara and actress Barbara Eden. The two later married and Ansara guest-starred on Eden's I Dream of Jeannie series as the Blue Djinn, who had imprisoned Jeannie in a bottle. He also played King Kamehameha in the Jeannie episode "The Battle of Waikiki" and in the final season he played Major Biff Jellico in the episode My Sister, the Home Wrecker. Michael Ansara and Barbara Eden divorced in 1974. The couple had one son together, actor Matthew Ansara, who died on June 25, 2001, of a heroin overdose.

Ansara starred in his own ABC-TV series, Law of the Plainsman (1959-60), with Gina Gillespie and Robert Harland. He performed as an Apache Indian appointed as a U.S. Marshal named Sam Buckhart. The series began as an episode of The Rifleman. In 1961, he appeared as Carl in the episode "Night Visitors" of the NBC anthology series The Barbara Stanwyck Show.

Ansara also played in Biblical epics which were The Robe (1953) as Judas Iscariot, The Ten Commandments (1956) as a taskmaster (uncredited), and The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965) as Herod's commander. He also appeared as Belshazzarin Columbia's 1953 movie Slaves of Babylon.

He has since appeared in several television shows and films including, Land of the Giants, Mission Impossible, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Babylon 5 and three different Star Trek TV series as Klingon Commander Kang.

In recent years, he performed voice-acting as Mr. Freeze in Batman: The Animated Series as well as the animated film Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero, an episode of both The New Batman Adventures and Batman Beyond and the video game Batman Vengeance.

Sources: Wikipedia, Starpulse