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Kenneth Mitchell, ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Actor, Dead at 49

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Actor Kenneth Mitchell, who was best known for his work on CBS’ Star Trek: Discovery, has died after a five-year battle with ALS. He was 49. 

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In a heartbreaking post on social media, the actor’s family shared the news of his death and paid tribute to the “beloved father, husband, brother, uncle, son and dear friend.”

“Ken was widely known as an actor in many films and television shows. He’s portrayed an Olympic hopeful, an apocalypse survivor, an astronaut, a superhero’s dad, and four unique Star Trekkers,” the statement read, sharing that the Canadian-born actor was just as devoted to his own family. 

Mitchell — who played Klingons Kol, Kol-Sha, Tenavik and Aurellio on Star Trek: Discovery — died on Saturday and leaves behind his wife, Susan May Pratt, and their two children. 

“Ken was diligent and hardworking in everything he did, but as a father these traits found their fullest expression. He was extremely dedicated to being a positive and playful force in the lives of his children. Regardless of his later disabilities, Ken discovered a higher calling to be more fully himself for his kids. Ken will be forever proud of who his children have become,” the statement said.

Mitchell was diagnosed with ALS — a nervous system disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, according to Mayo Clinic — in 2018. He spent the next five years fighting and prioritizing time with his wife and two children, the statement says. Mitchell’s IMDB page states he took his last role in The Old Man with Jeff Bridges in 2022. 

“For five and a half years Ken faced a series of awful challenges from ALS. And in truest Ken fashion, he managed to rise above each one with grace and commitment to living a full and joyous life in each moment,” his loved ones wrote, also attaching a picture of Mitchell and his two kids. 

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Confirming Mitchell’s death and paying homage to the late actor, the official Star Trek website made a post Sunday morning commemorating and thanking him for his dedication to the show and the franchise over the years. Along with his role in Star Trek: Discovery, the actor voiced several characters for Star Trek: Lower Decks.

“The entire Star Trek family sends their condolences to Mitchell’s family, friends, loved ones, and fans around the world,” the statement read. 

In an interview with StarTrek.com in 2017, he shared how his role as Kol in Discovery helped change his own mindset and shape his greater understanding of humanity.

“Whether someone is good or bad is all about perspective, and it’s about understanding that culture. You’ll get to know the Klingons on our show, and then people can decide if we really are the villains,” Mitchell said. 

The actor was also known for his works in Captain Marvel, MiracleJerichoThe Astronaut Wives Club and Switched at Birth.

In lieu of flowers, Mitchell’s family has asked for donations to ALS research or to support of his two children. 

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