Michael Ansara is a stage, screen and voice actor, best known for his portrayal of Cochise in the American television series Broken Arrow, and as Commander Kang on three different Star Trek TV series.
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, where he played the lead role of Cochise, that raised Ansara’s profile and made him a household name on television. 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”. 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.
Another success of Ansara was the TV series Law of the Plainsman, where he performed as Indian U.S. Marshal Sam Buckhart. Also in 1959, Ansara was the guest star in an episode of The Rifleman, playing Native American U.S. Marshal Sam Buckhart. In 1961, he appeared as Carl in the episode “Night Visitors” of the NBC anthology series The Barbara Stanwyck Show.