In Memoriam: Ricardo Montalban (1920 – 2009)

hmprricardomontalbanRicardo Montalban, the prolific Mexican actor whose career spanned 5 decades of film and television, passed away today, January 14, 2009. He was 88. An MGM fixture in the late 40s, the handsome young Montalban first came to public attention in a series of Esther Williams films, Neptune’s Daughter being the most notable, and he appeared opposite contemporary luminaries such as Lana Turner, Cyd Charisse and Jane Powell. Montalban proved there was more to him than just a handsome face by stretching his acting chops in some truly great classics, Joshua Logan’s Sayonara and William Wellman’s excellent Battleground among them.  And in the early 80s, Montalban entered into Science-Fiction immortality with his role in the Star Trekkie favorite The Wrath of Kahn. Television welcomed Montalban (and that purring, sexy accent of his) through the 60s, 70s and 80s and he will perhaps be best remembered for his famous role as the mysteriously debonair, white-suited Mr. Roarke of ABC’s popular Fantasy Island.


Posted by

Film writer and social media marketing professional. 2019 Social Ambassador for the 10th Annual TCM Classic Film Festival. Previously: social media associate at Warner Archive and script writer for Turner Classic Movies. Working on a Montgomery Clift biography due late 2020.

4 thoughts on “In Memoriam: Ricardo Montalban (1920 – 2009)

  1. from Wrath of Kahn, Kahn (quoting from Moby Dick) “To the last, I will grapple with thee… from Hell’s heart, I stab at thee! For hate’s sake, I spit my last breath at thee!”

    And who can forget that silky voice telling us of the “rich Corinthian leather” in the Chrysler Cordoba. Never mind that the leather was manufactured in New Jersey.

  2. I had a cinema cure: Three Days of the Condor, Deer Hunter, Masada , Easy Rider, Eyes Wide Shut, Gangs of New York, In the Heat of the Night, Scareface, The Firm, The Last Castle, The Postman Always Ring Twice, This Property is Condamned, A Tram Named Desire, King and Country; over thirty hours of savour.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s