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Michael Ansara
Michael Ansara Law of the Plainsman 1959.JPG
Michael Ansara in Law of the Plainsman (1959)
Born (1922-04-15)April 15, 1922
Mandate for Syria and the Lebanon
Died July 31, 2013(2013-07-31) (aged 91)
Resting place Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills, U.S.
Alma mater Los Angeles City College
Occupation Actor
Years active 1944–2001
Jean Byron
(m. 1955; div. 1956)
(m. 1958; div. 1974)
Beverly Kushida
(m. 1977)
Children 1
Awards Hollywood Walk of Fame, Western Heritage Award, Saturn Award

Michael George Ansara (April 15, 1922 – July 31, 2013) was an American actor. He portrayed Cochise in the television series Broken Arrow, Kane in the 1979–1981 series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Commander Kang in Star Trek: The Original Series, Deputy U.S. Marshal Sam Buckhart in the NBC series Law of the Plainsman, and provided the voice for Mr. Freeze in Batman: The Animated Series and several of its spin-offs. Ansara received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work in the television industry, located at 6666 Hollywood Boulevard.

Early life

Michael George Ansara was born in a small village in the Mandate for Syria and the Lebanon, and his family immigrated to the United States when he was two years old. He was of Lebanese descent. They lived 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 at Pasadena Playhouse to overcome his shyness. He was educated at Los Angeles City College, from which Ansara earned an Associate of Arts degree. Ansara served as a medic in the army during World War II.


Early work

During the 1950s, Ansara appeared in several episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. He appeared in a 1951 episode of The Lone Ranger titled "Trouble at Black Rock." In 1953, he appeared as Pindarus in Joseph Mankiewicz' big screen adaptation of Julius Caesar, with Marlon Brando, James Mason and John Gielgud. However, the popular television series Broken Arrow (1956), wherein he played the lead role of Cochise, raised Ansara's profile and 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 sitcom I Dream of Jeannie as the Blue Djinn. He also played King Kamehameha in the Jeannie episode "The Battle of Waikīkī", and in the final season, he played Major Biff Jellico in the episode "My Sister, the Home Wrecker". Ansara and Eden divorced in 1974. The couple had one son together, actor Matthew Ansara, who died on June 25, 2001.

Ansara starred in his own ABC-TV series, Law of the Plainsman (1959–1960), with Gina Gillespie and Robert Harland. He performed as an Apache Indian named Sam Buckhart, who had been appointed as a U.S. Marshal. The series began as an episode of The Rifleman.

Ansara also played in Biblical epics: 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 Belshazzar in Columbia's 1953 movie Slaves of Babylon.

Later career

In 1961, Ansara played the role of Miguel Alvarez in the film Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, co-starring with Barbara Eden and Walter Pidgeon, who played the role of Admiral Harriman Nelson. Ansara later appeared in an episode of the television series Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, playing the rebel sub commander Captain Ruiz in "Killers of the Deep" (1966). He also appeared in the episode "Hot Line" (broadcast on November 9, 1964) as a Soviet scientist who disarms a defective Soviet atomic satellite that has crashed off the coast of California and he appeared as Carl in the episode "Night Visitors" of the NBC anthology series The Barbara Stanwyck Show.

Michael Ansara Suzanne Lloyd Law of the Plainsman 1962
Michael Ansara and Suzanne Lloyd in Law of the Plainsman 1962

In 1962, he starred in a Broadway show with the silent film actor Ramon Novarro.

In 1964, he made his only guest appearance on Perry Mason as Vince Kabat in "The Case of the Antic Angel." Also that year, he played the lead character of "Qarlo," the Soldier in an episode of The Outer Limits. It opened the second season of shows on 19 September 1964 and was written by acclaimed fantasy writer and novelist Harlan Ellison, adapting it from his short story "Soldier from Tomorrow."

He starred in a supporting role in the 1965 Elvis Presley film, Harum Scarum. His wife, Barbara Eden, had starred in an earlier Elvis film, 1960's Flaming Star.

Ansara played the Ruler on episode 22, "The Challenge," of the television series Lost in Space (March 2, 1966) with a young Kurt Russell as his son Quano. Later that same year, Ansara appeared in the feature film Texas Across the River with Dean Martin. He also appeared on Daniel Boone as Red Sky in a 1966 episode. In another 1966 episode of that series, Ansara portrayed Sebastian Drake. He played two different characters in two episodes of the 1966 science fiction television series The Time Tunnel, Colonel Hruda in episode #11 and the Curator in episode #28 .

Ansara continued appearing in guest starring roles on television, including "The Savage Street", a 1967 episode of the ABC action drama series The Fugitive, "On a Clear Night You Can See Earth", a 1969 episode of the ABC-TV series Land of the Giants, and "The Western", the penultimate episode of the original CBS television series Mission: Impossible, which aired in 1973.

In 1976, Ansara starred in the movie Mohammad, Messenger of God (also titled The Message), about the origin of Islam and the message of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.

In 1978, he starred in the acclaimed miniseries Centennial, based on the novel by James A. Michener. Ansara played the Indian leader Lame Beaver, whose descendants are showcased throughout the centuries alongside the growth of the West and the town that the novel and miniseries are named after.

Ansara played the recurring role of Killer Kane in the 1979–1980 season of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.

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.

In 1988, Ansara appeared in an episode of the television series Murder, She Wrote titled "The Last Flight of the Dixie Damsel".

In 1992, he voiced Mr. Freeze in the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Heart of Ice", and won critical acclaim for his performance as the iconic villain. He went on to voice Mr. Freeze in the animated film Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero, an episode of both The New Batman Adventures and Batman Beyond, and the video game Batman: Vengeance.

In 1994, Ansara portrayed the Technomage Elric in the Babylon 5 episode "The Geometry of Shadows".

Star Trek

He is one of nine actors to play the same character (in his case the Klingon commander Kang) on three Star Trek television series – the original series ("Day of the Dove"), Deep Space Nine ("Blood Oath") and Voyager ("Flashback").

Awards and honors

Ansara was nominated for a Saturn Award, and has won a Western Heritage Award for Rawhide.

On February 8, 1960, Ansara received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work in the television industry, located at 6666 Hollywood Boulevard.

Personal life and death

Barbara Eden and son Matthew Ansara 1966
Wife Barbara Eden and their son Matthew (1966)

Ansara was married three times, first to actress Jean Byron in 1955; the couple divorced in 1956. In 1958, Ansara married Barbara Eden, who co-starred with him in Irwin Allen's Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. The couple had a son, Matthew Ansara. Ansara and Eden divorced in 1974, and he married actress Beverly Kushida in 1977. On June 25, 2001, his son Matthew died in Monrovia, California. Ansara was a Greek Orthodox Christian.

Ansara died from complications of Alzheimer's disease at his home in Calabasas on July 31, 2013, at the age of 91. His interment is at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles, next to his son Matthew.



Year Title Role Notes
1944 Action in Arabia Hamid Uncredited
Can't Help Singing California Caballero Uncredited
1947 Intrigue Ramon's Radio Man
1948 Queen Esther Zubal
1949 Outpost in Morocco Rifle Dispenser Uncredited
1950 The Desert Film Guard Uncredited
South Sea Sinner Native Policeman Uncredited
Kim Harem Guard Uncredited
1951 Soldiers Three Manik Rao
Only the Valiant Tucsos
Smuggler's Island Sikh Policeman Uncredited
Bannerline Floyd
My Favorite Spy House Servant Uncredited
1952 Brave Warrior The Prophet
Diplomatic Courier Ivan Uncredited
Yankee Buccaneer Lt. Romero
The Golden Hawk Bernardo Díaz
Road to Bali Guard Uncredited
1953 The Lawless Breed Gus Hanley Uncredited
The Bandits of Corsica Blacksmith
Julius Caesar Pindarus
Serpent of the Nile Captain Florus
White Witch Doctor De Gama Uncredited
The Robe Judas Uncredited
Slaves of Babylon Prince Belshazzar
The Diamond Queen Mir Jumla, the Mogul's general
1954 Three Young Texans Apache Joe
Drums of Tahiti Opening Narrator Uncredited
The Saracen Blade Count Alesandro Siniscola
Princess of the Nile Captain Kral
The Egyptian Hittite Commander Uncredited
Bengal Brigade Sgt. Major Puran Singh
Sign of the Pagan Edecon Dragnet
1955 Jupiter's Darling Maharbal
New Orleans Uncensored Floyd 'Zero' Saxon
Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy Charlie
1956 Diane Count Ridolfi
The Lone Ranger Angry Horse
Gun Brothers Shawnee Jack
The Ten Commandments Taskmaster Uncredited
Pillars of the Sky Kamiakin
1957 Last of the Badmen Kramer
Quantez Delgadito
The Tall Stranger Zarata
The Sad Sack Moki Uncredited
1961 Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea Miguel Alvarez
The Comancheros Amelung
1964 Quick, Let's Get Married Mayor Pablo
1965 The Greatest Story Ever Told Herod's Commander
Harum Scarum Prince Dragna
1966 ...And Now Miguel Blas Chavez
Texas Across the River Iron Jacket
1968 The Destructors Count Mario Romano
Sol Madrid Capt. Ortega
Daring Game President Eduardo Delgado
The Pink Jungle Raul Ortega
1969 Guns of the Magnificent Seven Col. Diego
1970 The Phynx Col. Rostinov
1972 Dear Dead Delilah Morgan Charles
Stand Up and Be Counted
1973 The Doll Squad Eamon O'Reilly
1974 It's Alive The Captain
The Bears and I Oliver Red Fern
1976 The Message Abu Sufyan
1977 Day of the Animals Daniel Santee
Mission to Glory: A True Story Chief Coxi
The Manitou John Singing Rock
1981 The Guns and the Fury Prince Sohrab
1984 Access Code Senator Dales
1985 KGB: The Secret War Lyman Taylor
1986 Knights of the City Mr. Delamo
1987 Assassination Sen. Bunsen
1990 Border Shootout Chuluha
1998 Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero Dr. Victor Fries / Mr. Freeze (voice) Direct-to-video
1999 The Long Road Home Murdock Haynes (final film role)


Year Title Role Notes
1951 Family Theater Decius Episode: "That I May See"
Episode: "Hill Number One: A Story of Faith and Inspiration"
1954 Dragnet Carl Chapman Episode: "The Big Rod"
1956 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Desar Episode: "The Orderly World of Mr. Appleby"
Mr. DeMario Episode: "The Baby Sitter"
Butcher Episode: "Shopping for Death"
1956–1958 Broken Arrow Cochise Contract role
1957 Hawkeye and the Last of the Mohicans Ogana Episode: "Hawkeye's Homecoming"
1959 The Rifleman Deputy Marshal Sam Buckhart Episode: "The Indian"
Episode: "The Raid"
1959–60 Law of the Plainsman Contract role
1960 The Untouchables Charlie Steuben Episode: "Nicky"
The Rebel Docker Mason Episode: "The Champ"
1961 The Untouchables Rafael Torrez Episode: "The Jamaica Ginger Story"
Wagon Train Northstar Episode: "The Patience Miller Story"
1963 Rawhide Joseph Episode: "Incident of Iron Bull"
1964 Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea Malinoff Episode: "Hot Line"
Perry Mason Vince Kabat Episode: "The Case of the Antic Angel"
The Outer Limits Quarlo Clobregnny Episode: "Soldier"
1965 The Virginian Marshall Merle Frome Episode: "The Showdown"
Branded Thomas Frye Episode: "The Bounty"
1966 Lost in Space The Ruler Episode: "The Challenge"
Daniel Boone (1964 TV series) Sebastian Drake S2/E24 "The Search"
I Dream of Jeannie Blue Djinn Episode: "Happy Anniversary"
Bewitched Rufus the Red Episode: "A Most Unusual Wood Nymph"
The Virginian Paul Dallman Episode: "High Stakes"
1967 Gunsmoke Grey Horse Episode: "Honor Before Justice"
Luke Todd Episode: "The Returning"
The Fugitive Officer Miguel 'Mike' Anza Episode: "The Savage Street"
The Time Tunnel Curator Episode: "The Kidnappers"
1968 I Dream of Jeannie King Kamehameha Episode: "The Battle of Waikīkī"
Star Trek Commander Kang Episode: "Day of the Dove"
1969 Target: Harry Maj. Milos Segora TV movie intended as a television pilot
I Dream of Jeannie Major Biff Jellico Episode: "My Sister, the Homewrecker"
1971 The Mod Squad Ray Abruzzi Episode: "A Double for Danger"
Bearcats! Paco Morales Episode: "Powderkeg"
1972 The Streets of San Francisco Albert 'Al' Ferguson Episode: "The Year of the Locusts"
Hawaii Five-O Piro Manoa Episode: "Death is a Company Policy"
1973 Call To Danger Frank Mulvey TV movie
Mission: Impossible Ed Stoner Episode: "The Western"
Ordeal Sheriff Peter Geeson TV movie
1974 Nakia Howard Gray Hawk Episode: "The Dream"
1975 The Barbary Coast Diamond Jack Bassiter Episode: "Pilot"
1976 The Rockford Files Joseph DiMinna Episode: "Joey Blue Eyes"
Kojak Keith McCallum Episode: "Justice Deferred"
1978 Dr. Strange Yao/Ancient One (voice) TV Movie
1978–79 Centennial Lame Beaver Miniseries
1979 The Story of Esther Haman TV movie
1979–80 Buck Rogers in the 25th Century Kane Recurring
1980 CHiPs Nathan McCallister Episode: The Poachers
1981 Thundarr the Barbarian Vashtar (voice) Episode: "Prophecy of Peril"
Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends Hiawatha Smith (voice) Episode: "Quest of the Red Skull"
1982 Bayou Romance Zanko TV movie
1983 Reading Rainbow Self - Narrator (voice) Episode: "Gift of the Sacred Dog"
1984 The Fantastic World of D.C. Collins Turk TV movie
1986 Rambo: The Force of Freedom General Warhawk (voice) 63 Episodes
1985 Hunter General Mariano 1 episode
1988 Murder, She Wrote Nicholas Rossi Episode: "The Last Flight of the Dixie Damsel"
1992–1994 Batman: The Animated Series Mr. Freeze / Dr. Victor Fries (voice) Episodes: "Heart of Ice" and "Deep Freeze"
1993 Reading Rainbow Self - Narrator (voice) Episode: "And Still the Turtle Watched"
1994 Babylon 5 Elric Episode: "The Geometry of Shadows"
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Kang Episodes "Blood Oath"
1996 Jeyal Episode: "The Muse"
Star Trek: Voyager Kang Episode: "Flashback"
1997 The New Batman Adventures Mr. Freeze / Dr. Victor Fries (voice) Episode: "Cold Comfort"
1999 Batman Beyond Episode: "Meltdown"

Video Games

Year Title Role Notes
2001 Batman: Vengeance Mr. Freeze / Dr. Victor Fries (voice) Final acting role before retirement


Year Title Role Notes
1997 Johnny Mysto: Boy Wizard Malfeasor

Other credits

Year Title Role Notes
1961 Here's Hollywood Self Episode: "1.102"
1967 The Mike Douglas Show Episode: "6.170"
1970 Philbin's People Episode: "1.31"
I Dream of Jeannie Director Episode: "One Jeannie Beats Four of a Kind"
The Fountain of Groovy Self Television documentary
1971 Jerry Visits Episode: 2 October 1971
Celebrity Bowling Episode: "Dick Martin & Billy Barty vs. John Schuck & Michael Ansara"
1972 This Is Your Life Episode: "Barbara Eden"
1976 The Wonderful World of Disney Oliver Red Fern
1978 Celebrity Bowling Self Episode: "Michael Ansara & Dick Martin vs. Leslie Nielsen & Jimmie Walker"
ABC's Silver Anniversary Celebration TV Special
1979 When the West Was Fun: A Western Reunion Television documentary
1980 Buck Rogers in the 25th Century Kane
  • Episode: "A Blast for Buck"
  • Archival footage
2000 The Exchange Executive producer Written and directed by Ed Nicoletti
The E! True Hollywood Story Self TV Series documentary
2010 Cinemassacre's Monster Madness John Singing Rock
  • Episode: "The Manitou"
  • Archival footage
2013 65th Primetime Emmy Awards Self
  • Segment: In Memoriam
  • Archival footage
2014 20th Screen Actors Guild Awards
  • Segment: In Memoriam
  • Archival footage

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Michael Ansara para niños

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