Ricardo Montalbán

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Ricardo Gonzalo Pedro Montalbán y Merino, KSG (pronounced /ˌmɒntəlˈbɑːn/, Spanish pronunciation: [montalˈβan]; November 25, 1920 – January 14, 2009) was a Mexican radio, television, theatre and film actor. He had a career spanning seven decades (motion pictures from 1943 to 2006) 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 "soft Corinthian leather" used for its interior).[1] 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. Into his 80s, he continued to perform, often providing voices for animated films and commercials, and appearing in several Spy Kids films as "Grandfather Valentin".


Early life

Montalbán was born in Mexico City, but grew up in the city of Torreón,[2] the son of Castilian Spanish émigrés Ricarda Merino and Jenaro Montalbán, a store manager.[3] He was raised as devout Roman Catholic.[4][5] Montalbán had a sister, Carmen, and two brothers, Pedro and the actor Carlos Montalbán.[6] As a teenager, Ricardo moved to Los Angeles to live with Carlos. The two went to New York City in 1940, and Ricardo earned a minor role in the play, Her Cardboard Lover.

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