Kenneth Mitchell of “Star Trek” dies at 49

HOLLYWOOD, CA – Noted “Star Trek” actor Kenneth Mitchell died on Saturday at the age of 49 after battling ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) for over five years. The news of Mitchell’s passing came via a statement on his Instagram page, highlighting his enduring positivity despite the hardship that comes with navigating a neurodegenerative disease.

ALS, additionally known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, progressively impairs nerve cells controlling muscle function throughout the body. Over 30,000 people in the U.S. are currently living with ALS, with an estimated 5,000 new diagnoses annually. Life expectancy following the onset of symptoms typically varies from two to five years.

In an Instagram post dated August 10, Mitchell shared his experiences living with the disease. He highlighted that numerous blessings come into the picture despite the significant challenges. He appreciated the repeated support extended by friends, family, caregivers, and physicians.

In a 2020 interview with PEOPLE, Mitchell publicly addressed his condition, likening the revelation of his diagnosis to a cinematic moment of receiving fatal news.

Despite his battle with ALS, Mitchell continued his acting career, contributing to several roles post-diagnosis. His works include portrayals of Klingon characters Kol, Kol-Sha, and Tenavik, and Aurellio on “Star Trek: Discovery,” as well as assorted characters on “Star Trek: Lower Decks.”

His fandom also includes followers from his roles in television series “Jericho” and “The Astronaut Wives Club,” alongside performances in films like “Miracle” and “Captain Marvel”.

The Instagram tribute dedicated to Mitchell presented him as a dreamer, an explorer of nature, a cat lover, and a devoted father. Mitchell leaves behind his parents, his wife, and two children, requesting any tributes be directed toward ALS research or his children.