Wednesday, May 12, 2010

HOLA Legends: Ricardo Montalbán

Ricardo Montalbán (born Ricardo Gonzalo Pedro Montalbán y Merino in 1920, died 2009) was a Mexican-born American radio, television, theater and film actor. Born in Mexico City, but raised in Torreón and later Los Angeles, he was the son of Castilian Spanish émigrés.

He had a career spanning seven decades and multiple notable roles. During the mid-1970s, Montalbán was most notable as the spokesman in automobile advertisements for the Chrysler Cordoba (in which he famously extolled the "rich Corinthian leather" used for its interior).

From 1977 to 1984, he became famous as Mr. Roarke, the main star in the television series "Fantasy Island." He played Khan Noonien Singh in both the 1967 episode "Space Seed" of the first season of the original "Star Trek" series, and the 1982 film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. He won an Emmy Award in 1978, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Screen Actors Guild in 1993. He also founded HOLA's sister organization on the West Coast, Nosotros. Into his 80s, he continued to perform, often providing voices for animated films and commercials, and appearing in several of the Spy Kids films as "Grandfather Valentin."

The clip below is from the 1947 film Fiesta, where he plays a bullfighter who wants to be a composer. In this scene, he dances with the legendary Cyd Charisse.

Trivia: When starting in Hollywood, film executives wanted him to change his name to Ricky Martin.

Also, Montalbán is credited with naming the five stages of the actor.
  1. Who is Ricardo Montalbán?
  2. Get me Ricardo Montalbán.
  3. Get me a Ricardo Montalbán type.
  4. Get me a young Ricardo Montalbán.
  5. Who is Ricardo Montalbán?

No comments: