Aaron Eisenberg, the actor who played the Ferengi known as "Nog" on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, passed away at the age of 50 yesterday. Born with just one kidney that did not operate at full capacity, Eisenberg struggled with organ failure throughout his life and received two transplants, one at age 17 (he was on dialysis as a teenager) and one at age 46.
The news of his death was confirmed by his wife, Malíssa Longo, on Facebook. Earlier in the day, she had tweeted that Aaron was in the hospital in critical condition.
"He was an intelligent, humble, funny, emphatic soul. He sought to live his life with integrity and truth. He was so driven to put the best he had into whatever work was put before him," she wrote. "He lived his life with such vigor and passion. He was like a breath of fresh air, because I knew I would always hear the truth from him. Even if I didn't want to hear it and even if the truth was inconvenient. He made me (and still makes me) want to be the best human I can possibly be, because he always strove to be the best human he could be. His resilience and willingness to learn was and is an inspiration."
Read Longo's full post below:
Running between 1993 and 1999 for a total of seven seasons and 176 episodes, Deep Space Nine was the first Star Trek program to be made without the involvement of Gene Roddenberry, who still signed off on the basic concept before dying in the fall of 1991. Set on the titular space station, the series just barely coincided with the events of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Eisenberg's character of Nog worked his way up across all seven seasons, beginning as a bartender before becoming a Starfleet cadet and ending up as an operations officer.
"[We didn't know] how important our show was at the time, and not recognizing that ... and then realizing it 20 years later," Eisenberg told SYFY WIRE at this year's SDCC. "I think, like a fine wine, our show has gained much more of an audience through Netflix and the ability to watch it all the way through. People have really come to realize, 'Wow, this was really a powerful show!' ... We're seeing how deep all these themes are and how important they are. It's just great to see that [executive producer] Ira [Steven Behr], and the writers, and the actors and the crew, and the production, they deserve it because they worked so hard to make such a great show and took such care and integrity to tell these stories."
Born to a Jewish family in Los Angeles in January of 1969, Eisenberg began acting in the late 1980s with genre projects like Amityville: The Evil Escapes and The Horror Show. Aside from his career-defining role in Deep Space Nine, he also appeared in Tales from the Crypt, Puppet Master III: Toulon's Revenge, The Secret World of Alex Mack, Star Trek: Voyager, Pterodactyl Woman from Beverly Hills, Blade of Honor, and Star Trek: Renegades.
Eisenberg's passing was mourned on Twitter by a number of DS9 co-stars, including Armin Shimerman, who played Nog's uncle, Quark.