Michael Ansara

Michael Ansara (born April 15, 1922) is a stage, screen and voice actor.


Early life and career

Ansara was born in Syria, and his family emigrated 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.

It was the popular TV series Broken Arrow (1956), where he played the lead role of Cochise, that raised Ansara's profile and made him a household name on television. Whilst 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, and as King Kamehameha in the episode "The Battle of Waikiki". The couple had one son together, actor Matthew Ansara, who died on June 25, 2001, of a heroin overdose. Michael Ansara and Barbara Eden divorced in 1974.

Another big success of Ansara was the TV series Law of the Plainsman (1959, with Gina Gillespie), where he performed as Indian U.S. Marshal Sam Buckhart.

Michael Ansara also played in the Biblical epics The Ten Commandments (1956) as the taskmaster and The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965) as Herod's commander.

Later career

In 1977, Ansara starred in the movie Mohammad, Messenger of God (also titled The Message) about the origin of Islam, and the message of prophet Mohammad.

Ansara played "Killer Kane" in the 1979-1980 season of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, and previously played two different characters in two episodes of the 1966 Sci-Fi TV series The Time Tunnel. In episode #11, he played Colonel Hruda and in episode #28 played The Curator. He also played the title role in the acclaimed original series episode of The Outer Limits Soldier written by Harlan Ellison. He narrated Paul Goble's "The Gift of the Sacred Dog" at Crow Agency, Montana on June 17, 1983 and Sheila MacGill Callahan's "And Still the Turtle Watched" on October 21, 1993 on the PBS series Reading Rainbow.

Ansara had a memorable role as the Technomage Elric in the sci-fi television series Babylon 5. He appeared in the episode "The Geometry of Shadows", in which Elric and his fellow Technomages go into hiding, anticipating the return of the Shadows and the subsequent great war that will tear the galaxy apart. Elric was the first character to foretell Londo Mollari's rise to power, and the grave implications of that ascension.

In recent years, he performed the voice of Mister Freeze in Batman: The Animated Series as well as one of its two spinoff animated movies spinoff animated shows. Ansara is now semi-retired.

Star Trek

Along with Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis, Armin Shimerman, John de Lancie and Richard Poe, he is one of only six actors to play the same character on three different Star Trek series. He played Kang in Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager. He also provided the voice of Q's supervisor in the Next Generation episode True Q and played Lwaxana Troi's husband Jeyal on the Deep Space Nine episode, "The Muse".

External links

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