Thursday, January 15, 2009

In memory

We lost a good one yesterday, didn't we? The above photograph was taken in 1999, six years after he had an extensive surgery to try and repair an old back injury. Unfortunately, the surgery failed to alleviate his pain. In fact, it left him a paraplegic and confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

However, Mr. Montalban remained active in the film industry, providing voices for animated films and commercials - the last in 2007, the year his wife of 63 years died. I wonder if her death might have contributed to his decision to retire from the industry altogether.

A magnificently handsome man, he is probably best known for his continuing role as Mr. Roarke in the "Fantasy Island" series, which has been enjoying reruns for years and has long been one of my favorites. There were 124 episodes altogether. Now I've seen a bunch, but by no means all of them. Something to look forward to!

In 1947, he and a young Cyd Charisse danced together in "The Fiesta". I didn't remember that. Here's one shot of them ...

He was honored twice during his long acting career, receiving an Emmy in 1978 for his role as Chief Satangkai in the ABC miniseries "How the West Was Won", and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Screen Actors Guild in 1993.

And for all of you Star Trek fans, I thought I'd include a YouTube clip from "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan".

Well done, Mr. Montalban. Now you are at peace.


Tammy said...

Yes he was a "good one." He did an excellent job in Fantasy Island. You know who he reminds me of in that second photo you posted? I can't remember the guy's name, but I know you watch Dancing With the Stars.....remember the race car driver that won a season or two ago? I think his name was Julio (?). Anyway, that's who he reminds me of when he was younger.

Goldenrod said...

It was Season 5 of DWTS - airing in the fall of 2007. The thing I remember most about Helio Castroneves is his glorious smile, which came very close to lighting up the whole room! He was a lot of fun to watch!!

The thing that always struck me the most about Ricardo Montalban was his hair. (So many men seem to suffer from hair loss ... some at a very early age.) That and his erect bearing and posture - probably had something to do with his back problems.

Ricardo's family emigrated to Mexico from Spain, I believe. I don't know Helio's history. Certainly they're both Hispanic.

Season 8 of DTWS is due to begin on March 9th. Not too far away now. Have you made a final decision yet on what you're going to do about your TV reception? Do you think you'll just give it one last humongous kick and then say a few choice words over it (and WalMart) before you relegate it to the trash bin?

Chuck said...

Great video clip! A good actor and a fine man. And I still remember "Corinthian leather" oozing from his vocal cords in the old Chrysler Cordoba commercials.

Tammy said...

We've decided to not buy a new tv or get cable. We will just go without, which is no biggie since we rarely watch it anyway. But we do use the tv for movie watching (fun and school) so it is nice to have.

Who knows....maybe we will change our minds in March, lol!

Craig Peihopa said...

I feel like Tatoo will be yelling out to Mr. Montalban as he passes sweetly away, "The Plane The Plane!

Goldenrod said...

I'm a real sucker for men with deep voices, and I loved your very descriptive 'oozing', Chuck! According to one source I read, there was never any such thing as Corinthian leather, but it sure sounded wonderful when he said it!!

steven said...

i remember ricardo primarily for his appearance in the chrysler ads. in his brandy-warm voice purring about the "cordoba" with its corinthian leather. unforgettable!!!!

whalechaser said...

NO ONE could say "warm Corinthian Leather" the way he could.