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October 8, 2015

Ricardo Montalban dead at 88

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 14th 2009 6:03PM
MontalbanFirst Patrick McGoohan and now Ricardo Montalban.

Montalban died earlier today in Los Angeles. He was 88. He was best known for playing Mr. Roarke on the odd ABC show Fantasy Island. Actually, he was probably equally known for his role in Star Trek. He played Khan in a classic episode of the original series in the 60s, and later reprised the role in the big screen flick Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, arguably the best of the Trek movies. Though I also liked the one with the whales.

Montalban had a long career, appearing in such shows as The Man From U.N.C.L.E., The Wild, Wild West, I Spy, Gunsmoke, Hawaii Five-0, Here's Lucy, Dynasty, Murder, She Wrote (which seems to show up in every obit I write here), B.L. Stryker, Chicago Hope, and many more. He was in my favorite version of Wonder Woman. His last role was on an episode of Family Guy earlier this year. He also did a ton of movies, the first one being Five Were Chosen in 1942.

Coincidentally, like McGoohan, Montalban also played a killer on Columbo. He killed a guy with a bull.

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god bless you

January 15 2009 at 2:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What a great anecdote. Thanks for posting that.

January 15 2009 at 2:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I could swear he did the voice of the pirate leader in the "Clone Wars" TV series on Cartoon Network (most recent episode "The Gungan General")

January 15 2009 at 11:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Who could beat the combo of The Love Boat followed by Fantasy Island? Two of the cheesiest shows I loved as a child/teen!

His portrayal of Khan was wonderful!

RIP, you will be missed.

January 15 2009 at 11:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have always enjoyed watching Ricardo Montalban on TV and movies. Remember the "rich, Corinthian leather" bit he did for a car company? He was a great actor, may he RIP.

January 15 2009 at 8:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Let's hope his casket is lined with fine Corinthian leather. He deserved it.

January 15 2009 at 8:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


January 15 2009 at 1:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David D

What I remember most about Montalban's television work in the 60s and 70s was how he was always cast in "ethnic" roles -- a Spaniard, an American Indian, an Arab, even men from Eastern Europe -- and never changed his voice. Whatever nationality he played, somehow he sounded right.

And yeah, two "Columbo" villains gone in the same day. I'm suddenly concerned about the health of Robert Culp.

January 14 2009 at 10:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Wow, as your first sentence says, first Patrick McGoohan, now Ricardo Montalban. Two impressive men who brought dignity and class to whatever role they played. Both will be missed.

January 14 2009 at 9:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Laugh at me if you want, but Fantasy Island was a never-miss in my household while growing up. I actually enjoyed the series. However, Montalban will always be Khan Noonien Singh to me. The role could have been completely farcical, but Montalban turned Khan into a tragic figure; misunderstood rather than just being a megalomaniac obsessed with his version of Moby Dick.

On another note, your "favorite" Wonder Woman was complete crap. Cathy Lee Crosby as Wonder Woman! Come on! It completely butchered the whole concept.

January 14 2009 at 9:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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