Adaptive optics (AO) applications in astronomy and vision science require deformable mirrors (DMs) with high-stroke, high-order packing density at a lower cost than the currently available technology. The required AO specifications are achievable with microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) devices fabricated with LIGA (lithographie galvanofomung abformung) high-aspect-ratio processing techniques. Different actuator designs and a bonded faceplate fabricated in a LIGA process, enabling multilayer fabrication of MEMS devices, are investigated. Various types of high-stroke gold actuators for AO consisting of folded springs with rectangular and circular membranes as well as x-beam actuators supported diagonally by fixed-guided springs are designed, simulated, and fabricated individually and as part of a continuous-face-sheet DM system. The actuators and DM displacement versus voltage are measured with an interferometer and the corresponding results are compared to finite element analysis simulations. Simulations and interferometer scans show the ability of the actuators to achieve displacements of greater than 1/3 of the initial gap. A stroke of ∼9.4 μm is achieved, thus showing that this fabrication process holds promise in the manufacture of future MEMS DMs for the next generation of extremely large telescopes.