‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Actor Kenneth Mitchell Has Passed Away

Kenneth Mitchell, who portrayed the Klingon Kol as well as other characters in Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek: Lower Decks, has passed away at age 49. The Canadian actor is being remembered by those who worked with him and the Star Trek community.

RIP Ken Mitchell

Kenneth A. Mitchell passed away on Saturday, February 24, 2024. The news was announced by his family via his official social media accounts, starting with the message “With heavy hearts we announce the passing of Kenneth Alexander Mitchell, beloved father, husband, brother, uncle, son and dear friend.” Mitchell had been suffering with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) for over five years, eventually resulting in the loss of speech. The Saturday night announcement from Mitchell’s family noted: “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.”

Mitchell’s acting career began in 2001 with roles in dozens of shows, including starring roles in Jericho and The Astronaut Wives Club as well as recurring roles in Odyssey 5 and Ghost Whisperer. He also appeared in a number of feature films, including 2019’s Captain Marvel. Mitchell is best known to Star Trek fans for his recurring role as Klingon General Kol, a main antagonist in the first season of Star Trek: Discovery.

Kenneth Mitchell as Kol

The actor returned to Discovery in season 2 playing two other Klingons: Kol-sha and Tenavik. In season 3 he appeared in two episodes as the human scientist Aurellio. At that time Mitchell was already fighting ALS and the production built him a special mobility chair for the role. In season 4, the USS Mitchell was named in Ken’s honor.  Mitchell also voiced the Tweerk captain and some other characters in the first season Lower Decks episode “Veritas.”

The following video from 2021 features Ken Mitchell talking about his Star Trek roles as well as some of his co-stars talking about working with him.

Kenneth is survived by his wife Susan, their children Lilah and Kallum, his parents Diane and David, brother Sean (Norah), in-laws Sally and Bill Pratt, sister-in-law Beth (Ajay) nieces and nephews Kiran, Jyoti, Avery, and Eliza… and cats Chai & Cinna. According to his family, Kenneth requests that any gifts be directed toward ALS research or in support of his children. A GoFundMe has been set up for his family.

Image from Mitchell’s obituary shared by his family

Star Trek cast and crew remember Ken Mitchell

Condolences and memories from those who knew Ken are starting to appear on social media.

A number of Twitter messages are coming from those who worked with Ken on Star Trek: Discovery, including executive producer and co-showrunner Michelle Paradise, producing director Olatunde Osunsanmi, writer Sean Cochran, and guest star Raven Dauda. A number of the Discovery stars are on Star Trek: The Cruise now so we should have more messages as the news spreads of Ken’s death and they can share their thoughts.

Discovery star Wilson Cruz shared an Instagram story saying goodbye to Ken.

Comments on the Instagram posting from Ken’s family included Voyager star Garret Wang, Strange New Worlds star Ethan Peck, TNG star Jonathan Frakes, Picard star Evan Evagora, Eugene Roddenberry, and Discovery guest star Sam Vartholomeos.

Other stars have taken to Twitter, including Star Trek star William Shatner and Voyager/Picard star Jeri Ryan.

TrekMovie offers our condolences to the friends and family of Ken Mitchell.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Sad news. It was cool that Discovery found ways for him to be on the show that accommodated his medical situation. Condolences to his family and friends.

Agreed and condolences as well. I enjoyed his Klingon characters. Disco put its money where its mouth is by carving out a significant role for him as his health declined.

Condolences to his family and friends. :(

Far too young. RIP Ken….and thank you.

Very, very sorry to hear of his passing. His characters were highlights.

My thoughts go out to his family, friends, and co-workers. ALS is a truly awful disease.

So sad to see this. My condolences to his family and friends. RIP Ken…

Such sad news.

He will be missed greatly. RIP

My Sincerest Condolences To Ken’s Family And Friends. May He Rest In Holy Peace.

Way too young. My condolences.

This cruel word, man….

My condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues. Loved him in his roles on Discovery!

Heartbreaking. Sending all my love to his family and friends. You will be so missed!

Wow this is truly sad news. I can’t imagine living with that disease. He will be greatly missed.

No one should have to go through that. He seems like he was a wonderful man to know and love, and the world is poorer for losing him.

Oh No. My condolences to the family. In Discovery Season 3, his performance and his accommodations were an inspirational tale, and I really enjoyed his work.

His passing will be deeply felt by the fandom for a long time.

Damn. 49 is far too young.

Sincere condolences to all his loved ones.

ALS is a terrifying disease. Deepest condolences. 😞 Heartbreaking video.

Rest in Peace Kenneth Mitchell…

I encourage everyone to watch the touching video interview with him in this article. “Of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most… human.” And give to his family in the GoFundMe linked above if you can. Live long and prosper Ken. 🖖🏼

Sad news. Too young, and with a family who will miss him so much. He really did great work.

I missed the Gary Graham article. Was it this nice?

Amen. I was waiting for this comment.

He was genuinely great in the roles he played. The story of him at a Rave at a convention or Trek Cruise or something was quite moving. I believe he talked about it on Anson Mount’s podcast. My heart goes out to his loved ones and friends. Rest in Peace.

ALS is brutal. Peace and condolences to his family and friends….

RIP. I was much inspired by his last Trek role.

There was man in my synagogue who had ALS (or something very similar) for well over twenty years- he died recently, in his mid-eighties. Even in the decades when he could only move his eyes, he was remarkably productive, writing books, creating artwork, giving speeches, and much more. I greatly admire people like these who can carry on despite such an awful prognosis.

A huge loss to the entire community.