Sad news indeed: Mexican-born actor Ricardo Montalban has died. He was 88.
As a child, one of my favorite programs was 'Fantasy Island'. For me, the idea that there was a secluded remote place where Magic could transform a person's life was incredibly attractive. And Montalban as Mr. Rourke—with his classy white tuxedo— gave off an aura of wisdom and benevolence that made you think he was some sort of angel; in fact, I remember a chapter when he fought with the devil, who reminded him they would have another round, since "they had all the time in the world".
So yeah, I think the fist time I looked at the Classified Ads of the newspaper, was to try to find one to visit Fantasy Island ;-)
And of course, who could forget his powerful performance as Khan in Star Trek's 2nd movie—arguably the best film of the whole Star Trek series. Only Mr. Montalban could pull that stunt of wearing a chest-bare vest AND a mullet, and not making a fool out of himself. Mind you, the man was in his 60s and he still had more muscle in his arms than I will ever have!!
For us Mexicans, Montalban was a cause for great pride. He was one of the first who had made a name for himself with "the gringos of Hollywood". And he never rejected his roots, unlike others like Antonio Reina, who at the beginning of his acting career decided to change his name to Anthony Queen; no, He was forever Ricardo, the Latin gentleman who paved the way for many other actors like Antonio Banderas, Gael García and Javier Bardem.
Descanse en Paz.
PS: If you could have gone to Fantasy Island, what would have been your wish?