Kenneth Mitchell, Actor In Star Trek Shows And Captain Marvel, Has Died At 49

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During “Star Trek: Discovery” season 1, Mitchell played a recurring role: namely, the Klingon villain Kol. It seems the crew liked working with Mitchell (he even got to voice some incidental characters in “Veritas,” an episode of the animated series “Star Trek: Lower Decks”). And although Kol met his demise in “Discovery” season 1’s ninth episode, “Into the Forest I Go”, Mitchell returned.

In season 2, Mitchell played two more Klingons: Kol’s aged father, Kol-Sha, and the albino Klingon Tenavik (son of recurring characters Voq and L’Rell). In season 3, Mitchell played a different kind of character, one much truer to himself — and not just because there was no Klingon makeup. 

During the last five years of his life, Mitchell lived with the neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). He was diagnosed in 2018 but only made his condition public in 2020. By October 2019, he began to use a power wheelchair. So, in “Discovery” season 3 Mitchell began playing the character Aurellio, a human scientist who used a hover chair to retain mobility. Mitchell’s last credited role, in the Jeff Bridges-led series “The Old Man,” likewise had him play a disabled character. I don’t want to turn Mitchell’s life into a boilerplate inspirational story, but it is heartwarming how his colleagues collaborated to help him keep working while taking his condition into account. 

Actor Ethan Peck, who plays Spock in “Discovery” and “Strange New Worlds,” wrote a moving tribute to Mitchell on his Instagram Stories: “Enjoy the stars, Ken. I’ll see you out there someday. ‘Star Trek’ is lucky to have you forever.”

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