Thursday, January 15, 2009
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.