CBS TV Show Star Dies From ALS: Kenneth Mitchell Was 49

The actor had been diagnosed with ALS five years ago.

Actor Kenneth Mitchell, a recognizable actor seen on CBS shows, has died after a battle with ALS. He was 49.

Mitchell's family revealed his passing on Saturday. CBS viewers will best recognize him from his roles as Eric Green on Jericho and Sam Lucas on Ghost Whisperer. He also had guest roles on Hawaii Five-0, Criminal Minds, NCIS: Los Angeles, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, The Mentalist, CSI: Miami, Without a Trace and Code Black. Outside of CBS, he appeared in Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: Lower DecksCaptain Marvel, Switched at Birth, The Old Man and The CW's Nancy Drew.

"With heavy hearts we announce the passing of Kenneth Alexander Mitchell, beloved father, husband, brother, uncle, son and dear friend," a post on social media read. "Ken was widely known as an actor in many films and television shows. He's played an Olympic hopeful, an apocalypse survivor, an astronaut, a superhero's dad and four unique Star Trekkers. But to those close to him he was down as a hope seeker, daydreamer, dream believer, soccer player, beach walker, bear hugger, landscape designer, garden grower ... Susan's partner, and more than anything else, a proud father.

2018 Star Trek Convention Las Vegas
(Photo: Gabe Ginsberg / Getty Images)

"Ken was the keeper of countless friendships. Like a massive star exploding with kindness, purity and a particular brand of silly, you were pulled right into his orbit," the statement continued. "Once captured, Ken could bathe you in positivity, thoughtfulness, and hilarity, and make you feel so loved."

Mitchell was diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease) back in 2018. He continued to work after his diagnosis, recording performances for Lower Decks after his time in Discovery. It also revealed the depth of the issue.

"Working on Lower Decks is the last time I remember walking before having to be in a motorized wheelchair," he told SyFy Wire in 2020. "I remember walking up the stairs to go into the studio and the recording booth, and I remember having a great time with [showrunner] Mike [McMahan] and the team. And then I remember walking down the stairs but having trouble getting down. But, to be honest, that's my last memory of walking on my own. And for that to be [my] last memory, it's pretty damn special."

He is survived by his wife, Susan Mitchell, and their two children, Lilah and Kallum. "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," the statement added. "He lived by the principles that each day is a gift and that we never walk alone. His life is a shining example of how full one can be when you live with love, compassion, humor, inclusion and community."