How did the Actress who Played Lursa Duras Die?

Barbara March as Lursa Duras in Star Trek The Next Generation

YouTube Barbara March as Lursa Duras in Star Trek The Next Generation

The elder Duras sister, Lursa Duras, was brought to life by a Canadian actress named Barbara March. Before being cast as Lursa, March had done a few guest appearances on American and Canadian television shows. She’d also done a couple of TV movies and some films.

However, her role in the Star Trek universe became her most recognizable one. March portrayed Lursa in three episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG) and one episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (DS9). She also reprised the role in the movie Star Trek: Generations. Though Lursa died in Generations, March’s career in the Star Trek universe didn’t end there. She often appeared at Star Trek conventions both in and out of costume. March continued to be active in the Star Trek community until shortly before her death in August of 2019.

How did she Die?

March’s husband, Alan Scarfe, announced her passing in an emotional Facebook post. He confirmed that March had died on August 11th, 2019 after a battle with cancer. His post didn’t specify what kind of cancer his wife had been fighting. The information was also missing from reports of her death. She was 65 years old when she passed.

The Facebook post also included a summary of March’s many accomplishments both on and off the screen. Scarfe detailed the stage productions she’d participated in, which included her portrayal of Lady Macbeth. March once told Little Review that her performance as the murderous Lady inspired her portrayal of Lursa. Scarfe also mentioned that March was a talented author and poet. She wrote the novel The Copper People.

March was survived by Scarfe, their daughter Tosia, a composer and music instructor, and her stepson Jonathan, an actor.

Star Trek fans took to social media to share their condolences with March’s family. They also shared stories about meeting her at conventions and how wonderful she was with her fans.

Film was a Family Business

Jonathan Scarfe of UP Entertainment's 'Ties That Bind' attends the Getty Images Portrait Studio powered by Samsung Galaxy at 2015 Summer TCA's at The Beverly Hilton Hotel

Tommaso Boddi/Getty ImagesJonathan Scarfe of UP Entertainment’s ‘Ties That Bind’ attends the Getty Images Portrait Studio powered by Samsung Galaxy at 2015 Summer TCA’s at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 30, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California.

March was not the only actor in her family. In fact, she wasn’t even the only Star Trek actor in her family. Her husband appeared in two episodes of TNG and one episode of Star Trek: Voyager. While March portrayed the same character each time she appeared in the Trek universe, Scarfe played three different characters. Twice he portrayed Romulans and once he played a member of the Mokra Order. Though they were both members of the Star Trek family, the couple never appeared in an episode together. They did, occasionally, appear together at Star Trek conventions.

Scarfe is best known for his roles in Lethal Weapon 3 and Andromeda, another Gene Roddenberry production.

March’s stepson, Jonathan, was also an actor. Though he didn’t join the family tradition of appearing in Star Trek, he has over 90 acting credits. He’s best known for his roles in The Equalizer 2 and Van Helsing.

March and Scarfe’s daughter, Tosia, is not an actress, but she did follow her parents and older brother into film work. She’s credited as a composer on four short films.

March was a talented actress who brought a fan-favorite Klingon to life, inspiring many strong women throughout the Trek fandom. Her loss was a great one for the Star Trek family worldwide.

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