Ricardo Montalban

Date Of Birth:
25 November 1920
Date Of Death:
14 January 2009
Place Of Birth:
Mexico City, Mexico

Name at birth: Ricardo Gonzalo Pedro Montalban Merino

Among television viewers, Ricardo Montalban is remembered as Mr. Roarke, the mysterious white-suited host of the TV drama Fantasy Island, and as a pitchman for the "soft Corinthian leather" of the luxury Chrysler Cordoba. Ricardo Montalban was one of a handful of Latin leading men who broke into Hollywood movies in the 1940s and 1950s, though he was often cast as an Arab, a Native American or in other ethnic roles. Montalban also played creepy superdude Khan, Captain James T. Kirk's nemesis in a famous 1967 episode of TV's Star Trek, and he reprised the role in a 1982 movie, The Wrath of Khan. But it was his Fantasy Island turn as Mr. Roarke -- dapper and all-knowing, assisted by the teensy aide-de-camp Tattoo (played by Herve Villechaize) -- that made him a star during its run from 1978-1984. He also played Grandfather in Spy Kids 2 (2002) and Spy Kids 3 (2003). He was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Screen Actors Guild in 1994.
Extra Credit:

Ricardo Montalban’s wife, Georgiana, was the sister of actress Loretta Young… Rocardo Montalban founded Nosotros, an organization promoting Latino involvement and positive imagery in the film industry; Nosotros also was the name of a 1945 film starring Montalban… Ricardo Montalban is the indirect object of a classic Internet meme: actor William Shatner (as Captain Kirk) shouting “Khaaaaaan!”