Thursday, January 15, 2009

Rich Corinthian Leather - RIP

Saul Menowitz informs Ruminations that Ricardo Montalban has passed from this world.


Montalban is one of those actors whose passing reminds a certain generation just how old they are. SBD began watching prodigious amounts of television in the early 70s and Montalban was a near constant - Hawaii Five-O, Wonder Woman, Colombo, Zorro, and the high water mark of 70's television - Fantasy Island. His work as Armando in Escape from the Planet of the Apes and Conquest of the Planet of the Apes goes unchallenged. And then of course, there was that rerun of Star Trek you saw for the first time, featuring the future Bondian-type villain - Khan Noonian Singh. It made perfect sense that he would play a future superman. A thrill would shoot down your leg when watching old crap movies and television shows from the 50s and early 60s and there he would be, those trademarked jowls in full firmness, playing some stereotypical Spanish lothario or stooge. And now he's gone and those are your years that are gone as well.

Less well known than his Corinthian leather-lined acting jobs, Montalban was a devout Catholic, was honored by the Vatican for his good works, and was married to his wife for 63 years, although it defies reason to think he did not have a chicka or two on the side.

He also had two other amazing skills - he could wear a rug like no one else - Shatner included - and he knew how to tie a nice Windsor knot.

Rest In Peace.