Who was Matthew Ansara?
Matthew Ansara was a talented actor who could have made it big in the industry had he lived long enough. At 6’4” with a well-chiselled body, handsome looks and sharp cut features, Matthew surely was a star in the making. But just as they say, no one has a perfect life and so was Matthew’s. Born talented, it was during his building up years that he caught himself in drug addiction. The divorce of his parents further embroiled him into this, as he felt shattered; emotionally and psychologically. By the time his parents recognized the signs of his drug problem, Matthew had already been suffering as an addict for a decade. Despite putting him to rehab centres, Matthew wasn’t able to the win the war against drugs completely, though he was making a progress towards betterment. He had started finding acting assignments and also made a couple of guest appearances. Just when his life seemed to get back in track, both professionally and personally as he had found his love interest, his untimely death left his parents and fiancé heartbroken and grieved for life.
The Meteoric Rise to Stardom
Matthew Ansara was a budding actor and son of celebrity actor couple Barbara Eden and Michael Ansara. While Barbara rose to fame post her ‘I Dream of Jeannie’ days, Michael Ansara was an established actor of the Star Trek times. Having said that it was only natural for Matthew to imbibe the artistic talent of his parents! At mere 19 months of age, Matthew made his stage debut at ‘The Mike Douglas Show’. He accompanied his mother who sang to him during the show.
Later, at the age of 15, Matthew made a comeback to the screen for an episode in his mother’s series ‘Harper Valley P.T.A’ in ‘To Dunk or Not To Dunk’. He re-appeared with his mother in ‘Your Mother Wears Combat Boots’. For ‘To Protect and Serve’, Matthew played the part of an amateur bodybuilder. By this time, Matthew who was suffering from drug addiction ever since his early teens had become sober and refrained himself from the drug usage. He had a new-found passion in bodybuilding. He had started injecting steroids for the same. Matthew’s final performance was in ‘Con Games’. Ironically, it was released posthumously after his premature death in 2001.
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Matthew Ansara was born on August 29, 1965 in Los Angeles, to Barbara Eden and Michael Ansara. The only son of the celebrity couple, Matthew was pampered and cosseted by his parents. Matthew attended a series of schools, UC, Santa Barbara, Valley College and finally UCLA for his education. Though he was a bright student, it was his addiction to drugs that took the better of him in these years. He confided in his parents and spent most of his time in and out of rehabilitation facilities.
In 1987, Matthew married Julie Ansara but the marriage hit the rocks in two years. Later, in 1994, he was diagnosed with clinical depression and was on prescribed medication. In 1999, he opened up about his addiction problem to the public. Upon being sober, Matthew was in a romantic relationship and was looking forward to take the vows in September 2001. However, fate had something else in store for him.
On June 25, 2001, he was found dead in his pickup truck at a gas station. Autopsy report stated there were lethal levels of heroin in the actor's body. Also, there were vials of anabolic steroids in the truck. A further investigation report cleared that the death was accidental. Following his untimely death, Matthew was interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills) in Los Angeles, California.