Michael Ansara, one of my favorite character actors of all time died today. He was 91.
You may not know the name, but you'd know him if you saw him, or, failing that, if you heard him. He had an amazing voice. He was part-syrian, and tended to get cast in ethnic roles as indians, most notably as Geronimo in the short-lived "Broken Arrow" TV series in the 50s.
Kevin once told me he met Barbara Eden while filming the Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea movie in 1961. They were married and had one son. He guest starred on I Dream of Jeanie a half dozen times, never playing the same character twice. They divorced in the '70s.
He was the voice of Mr. Freeze in all the good '90s/'00s DC cartoons, including his final appearance (In Batman Beyond) which was a deliberately-heartbreaking farewell to the character. He played "Killer Kane" on the crappy Gil Gerard Buck Rogers series. He played Kang, one of only four Klingons worth a damn in all 700+ hours of Star Trek.
He had the kind of voice Moses probably had, and would envy if he didn't. He was bald as a spear his entire life, but somehow it was sexy for him, and the ladies loved him. He was effortlessly imposing as a character actor.
R2 once pointed out that his final screen role was as Elric the technomage on B5. I found the scene. Here it is. It's strange to know this is the last time he was ever on camera, the last thing he ever did, the end of his career. Our last chance to see him. It's fitting that this scene takes place in an airport departure lounge, talking to someone while waiting for his flight.
Shortly after that, his son (Only child) died of a drug overdose, an the heart just went out of him. He never acted again. He never recovered from that loss,
but then how could you?
He is survived by...nobody.
When R3 used to do these things, he used to say "Our prayers go out to him and his family." I don't know what else to do, so I'll say that, too. Farewell, Mr. Ansara, I hope you get to wherever it is you hope to end up. I hope you meet your son again.
And thank you.