Remembering Ricardo Montalban, born November 25, 1920 and passed away on January 14, 2009.
Ricardo Montalban was an Emmy Award-winning, Tony Award-nominated Mexican actor who enjoyed a long career in television and film.
He is best known to Star Trek fans for his role as the genetically-engineered Khan Noonien Singh, a role he originated in the original series episode “Space Seed”. He reprises the role 15 years later in the film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
An almost stereotypical “Latin Lover” type, Montalban is perhaps best known to the general public as the enigmatic Mr. Roarke from the television series Fantasy Island (1978-84).
Others may remember him as the Chrysler pitchman who touted the Cordoba, with its “soft, Corinthian leather”.
Since the early 1940’s, Montalban had worked on over 200 film and television projects, in addition to numerous stage credits.
Before achieving pop culture status with his roles as Khan and Mr. Roarke, Montalban was known for his performances in musicals for MGM and on the Broadway stage during the 1940’s and 1950’s.
He continued to work until his death in 2009, despite having been confined to a wheelchair since 1993, the result of an injury he suffered in (and had been concealing since) 1951.
In 1993, he was given a Life Achievement Award by the Screen Actors Guild. He and Brock Peters are the only two Star Trek alumni to have received this honor to date.
Montalban also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Ricardo Montalbán Theater in Hollywood, California, is named in his honor.
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