Star Trek Actor Kenneth Mitchell Dead at 49

Kenneth Mitchell, known for roles on Star Trek: Discovery and Captain Marvel and the husband of actress Susan May Pratt, has passed away after a battle with ALS.

By Corinne Heller Feb 25, 2024 10:42 PMTags
Watch: Star Trek Actor Kenneth Mitchell Dead at 49

The Star Trek and acting communities have lost a beloved member.

Kenneth Mitchell, and actor known for roles in Star Trek: Discovery and Captain Marvel and the husband of Center Stage actress Susan May Pratt, has died. He was 49.

The actor passed away Feb. 24 in Los Angeles after a long battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. In addition to his wife, Mitchell is survived by their daughter Lilah, 16, and son Kallum, 11, plus his parents, brother and other family members, according to an obituary posted on his Instagram Feb. 25.

"Ken was diligent and hardworking in everything he did, but as a father these traits found their fullest expression," it read. "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."

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The obituary also included an essay written by Mitchell himself, titled "Connect."

"When I die, when I leave this life, I want to become a tree, a Ginko, White pine, Jacaranda, Lemon, Cedar, Oak, Myrtle or Maple," he wrote. "I want to be buried under the roots, so I can be soaked up, all my matter, my energy, my love, my laughter, my tears and I want to reach up through the branches and touch the night sky. I want to twinkle with the stars and when the earth turns, I want to feel the sun on the face of my leaves."

Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images

Mitchell, a Toronto native, made his onscreen acting debut in the early aughts, appearing in Showtime's Leap Year. He later played Eric Green on the series Jericho and Sam Lucas on Ghost Whisperer. In 2019, he starred on the CW's Nancy Drew and in Captain Marvel.

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Meanwhile, he had begun appearing on Star Trek: Discovery, playing four roles between 2017 and 2021: Klingons Kol, Kol's dad Kol-Sha and Tenavik, and later, as he began to suffer the effects of ALS, Aurellio, a human character who used a hoverchair, or wheelchair-like device. Mitchell also portrayed several other roles on the animated series Star Trek: Lower Decks. Throughout his time on the franchise, he occasionally made appearances at Star Trek fan conventions.

Mitchell last appeared onscreen in a recurring role on the FX series The Old Man, which stars Jeff Bridges and John Lithgow.

Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images

Mitchell was diagnosed with ALS, a neurological disease that causes muscle weakness and paralysis, in 2018 and had used a wheelchair since 2019.

"For five and a half years, Ken faced a series of awful challenges from ALS," his obituary stated. "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. He lived by the principles that each day is a gift and that we never walk alone. His life is a shining example of how full one can be when you live with love, compassion, humor, inclusion and community. Ken was an inspirational work of art to all the hearts he touched."

Among those were his friends and colleagues.

"Rest in peace, Ken. Was just thinking of you," Ethan Peck, who plays Spock on Star Trek: Discovery, commented on the obituary, using an emoji of the Vulcans' "Live Long and Prosper" hand gesture.

And Jonathan Frakes, who directed several episodes in the series and played William Riker on Star Trek: The Next Generation, wrote, "One of the best RIP."

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