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Star Trek actor Kenneth Mitchell dies of ALS at 49

Kenneth Mitchell, a Canadian actor known for his roles in Star Trek: Discovery, Captain Marvel, Jericho, and The Old Man, has died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) at the age of 49. He passed away peacefully at his home on Saturday, February 24, 2024, surrounded by his loved ones.

Mitchell was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, in 2018. The disease causes the progressive degeneration of nerve cells that control muscle movement, leading to paralysis and eventually death. There is no cure for ALS, and the average life expectancy after diagnosis is three to five years.

Despite his condition, Mitchell continued to pursue his passion for acting and took on roles that reflected his reality. He played three different characters in Star Trek: Discovery, including a Klingon named Kol, a human named Aurellio, and a Ba’ul named Tenavik. He also appeared as Joseph Danvers, the brother of Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), in the Marvel blockbuster Captain Marvel. His most recent role was as a retired FBI agent named Gene in the FX series The Old Man, starring Jeff Bridges.

Mitchell’s colleagues and friends in the entertainment industry expressed their sorrow and admiration for him on social media. Star Trek: Discovery co-creator Alex Kurtzman tweeted, “We lost one of the most genuine, kind, and courageous people I’ve ever known. Kenny, you were a light for all of us. We love you and we’ll miss you always.” Brie Larson posted a photo of her and Mitchell on Instagram, with the caption, “My heart is broken. Kenny was one of the best people I’ve ever met. He was a brilliant actor, a loving father, a loyal friend, and a warrior. He taught me so much about strength, grace, and humor. I’m so grateful for the time we shared. Rest in power, my friend.” Jeff Bridges also shared his condolences, saying, “Kenny was a beautiful soul and a joy to work with. He brought so much to every scene and every moment. He was a fighter and an inspiration. I’m honored to have known him and worked with him. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

Mitchell is survived by his wife, actress Susan May Pratt, and their two children, Lilah and Kallum. He also leaves behind his parents, a brother, and a sister. His family thanked his fans and supporters for their love and generosity, and asked for donations to be made to the ALS Association in his memory. They also requested privacy and respect during this difficult time.

Mitchell’s legacy will live on through his work and his spirit. He once said, “I have learned that there is beauty and grace in facing life’s challenges. I have learned to appreciate every moment, no matter how big or small. I have learned that life is a gift, and I am grateful for it.” He was a brave and inspiring person who lived each day as a gift. He will be dearly missed by many.

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