Michael Ansara will forever be remembered as the man who portrayed one of sci-fi's most feared yet respected villains; Kang in the television series Star Trek. Following his death earlier this week, the actor will further be remembered as not only a great villain, but as a great actor who was respected by his peers, loved by his fans and will be missed by his friends, family and colleagues.

Born to American parents in a small village in Syria in 1922 (he returned to America with his parents two years later), Ansara first ventured into acting in the late 1940's, eventually breaking into television and some movie work after a few years performing on-stage. He first got his break portraying a Native American in two western series, playing Cochise in ABC's Broken Arrow and as Apache Deputy U.S. Marshal Sam Buckhart in NBC's Law of the Plainsman. He also appeared in a number of big screen Westerns as well as a number of Biblical epics, including The Robe, The Ten Commandments and The Greatest Story Ever Told, however it was his role as Kang that will be remembered the most.

Ansara's relationship with Star Trek began when he first appeared as the Klingon warrior Kang, going on to play him another two episodes in the 1990's in two separate spin-offs from the original series. He first appeared in the 1968 broadcast episode 'Day of the Dove' from the original Star Trek series, reprising his role for the Deep Space 9 episode 'Blood Oath' and again for the Voyager episode 'Flashback.'

Michael passed away in his home in Calabasas, California on Wednesday 31 July following a prolonged battle with illness, his former publicist confirmed earleir this week. He was married to I Dream of Jeanie's Barbara Eden between 1958 and 1974, with the two having one son, Matthew Michael Ansara - who died of a herion overdose in 2001, during their marriage. He is survived by his second wife, Beverly, his sister Rose, his niece Michelle and nephew Michael John.