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Kenneth Mitchell, ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ and ‘Captain Marvel’ actor, dies at 49

Mitchell was diagnosed with ALS in August 2018.
2018 Star Trek Convention Las Vegas
Actor Kenneth Mitchell speaks during a Star Trek convention on Aug. 4, 2018. Gabe Ginsberg / Getty Images
/ Source: Variety

Kenneth Mitchell, known for his multiple roles on “Star Trek: Discovery,” died from ALS complications on Saturday. He was 49.

“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,” a statement reads on Mitchell’s official Instagram page. “He lived by the principals that each day is a gift and we never walk alone.”

On “Star Trek: Discovery,” Mitchell played Klingons Kol, Kol-Sha and Tenavik, as well as Aurellio. He also voiced several characters in an episode of “Star Trek: Lower Decks.” His other notable credits include portraying Carol Danvers’ father in “Captain Marvel” and Olympic hopeful in “Miracle.” Mitchell has also appeared in “Jericho,” “The Astronaut Wives Club,” “Ghost Whisperer” and “Switched at Birth.”

In 2020, Mitchell announced to People that he was diagnosed with ALS in 2018. The actor had been using a wheelchair since 2019.

“I think it, over time, became the theme of us accepting this with grace,” he said. “Trying to see the beauty in it, in a way. I’ll never forget, one of my ‘Star Trek’ co-stars told me, because they had dealt with some trying times with illnesses and stuff, and I remember them communicating to me, saying, ‘You have a choice. You can look at this in many different ways, but maybe try to look at this like a gift where you get to experience life in a way that most people don’t.’”

He also revealed to People that he had to give up his part as the lead in a television show, which would require him to move to Newfoundland. “Being lead of the show, I really wanted that responsibility. But in the end, it just wasn’t the right thing to continue on,” he said.