Photo: Michael Ansara of Star Trek


Michael Ansara on stage with his wife

 

One of my favorite characters of all time on Star Trek was Kang, played by Michael Ansara.  He brought nobility and pride to the Klingons, which clearly influenced later development of the aliens.  So when he was on the guest list for Farpoint in 1997, I jumped at the chance.

The photo is of him and his wife.  This was the first appearance he ever made at a con, and I believe he only did two.  (Sorry the photo is blurry.  The lighting was really bad, and these were the best I was able to get).

He was astounded at the crowds, at the number of people who came to see him.  If we hadn’t run out of time, we would have kept him on stage with questions!

But there was one that I still remember….

George Takei and James Doohan were both blasting William Shatner at the time.  So, naturally, “What was it like to work with William Shatner?” came up.  I imagine some expected him to dish up dirt.

And Michael Ansara stayed professional.  He said William Shatner was great to work with.

Contrast that to another guest at the same con, Mark Goddard.  He worked on Lost in Space for producer Irwin Allen.  Because he was in a TV series, he was horribly typecast and landed in soaps so he could work.  But then, soaps were the thing you took because you couldn’t get work and looked down on.  So he was very bitter and ranted on stage about Irwin Allen, though it wasn’t the producer’s fault.  Mark Goddard had accepted the role, and the culture that comes with popular series is that it can be hard to get roles afterwards.

I was shocked when I heard Mark Goddard, because that is going to turn some fans off.  Some come from a long ways to see actors.  That’s what they’re getting?

Anyway, after Michael Ansara got off stage, he went out to the lobby to sign autographs.  I got in line, which was quite long.  I was looking forward to actually meeting him.  But the crowds had worn him out, and the con shut down the line before I got there.

Sometimes the stories are best about photos!

 

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