Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Ricardo Montalban 1920 - 2009

Man...I have to stop reading the news today. Ricardo Montalban has died. Another of my cherished character actors has left us. Few other actors had a career that spanned so many decades and roles in television, stage, and film--and for one of the few prominent Hispanic actors, that's saying something. And, he performed many of his roles plagued with pain from a spinal injury that originally occurred in 1951. He could sing, dance, and act. He was something of a legend for many in the Mexican-American community, especially here in the city that he lived in (though he remained a Mexican citizen from birth and never applied for U.S. citizenship). As well, he was also one of the best loved villains in the Star Trek franchise--Khan Noonien Singh. One of my favorite quotes (the five stages of the actor) that's cited by many is by him:

  1. Who is Ricardo Montalbán?
  2. Get me Ricardo Montalbán.
  3. Get me a Ricardo Montalbán type.
  4. Get me a young Ricardo Montalbán.
  5. Who is Ricardo Montalbán?

Rest in peace, Mr. Roarke.


  1. That white punk wig he wore as Khan in one of the Trek films -- it takes a great actor to get away with something like that.

    I'll remember him for his part in a B film, 'Blue,' where he played a Mexican bandit who adopted a gringo orphan, played by Terence Stamp. Not a great film, but it made an impression on me in my youth. And those car commercials Montalban used to do: When he said 'Cordovan leather' it sounded like the richest material in the world.

  2. Oops, make that 'Corinthian' leather. My lamentable memory...