Acclaimed actor Ricardo Montalbán was born on November 25, 1920 in Mexico City, Mexico. Though audiences may best remember him as Mr. Roarke from the hit show Fantasy Island (1977-1984), his career spanned seven decades. He appeared in many diverse films, including musicals & played lead roles or guest-starred in dozens of TV series. He played Khan in Star Trek & Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982). He won an Emmy Award for his role in the miniseries How the West Was Won (1978) & a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Screen Actors Guild in 1993. In his 80s, he provided voices for animated films & commercials & later he appeared as Grandfather Valentin in the Spy Kids franchise.
Early in his career he played his fair share of “Latin Lover” roles, eventually breaking the casting stereotype to become know for his acting ability. Unlike most minority actors at the time, he fought to upscale the Latin (particularly, Mexican) image in Hollywood. His noted militancy may have cost him a number of roles along the way, but he gained respect & a solid reputation. It was his frustration of Hollywood's portrayal of Mexicans that inspired him to found the organization NOSOTROS a Los Angeles theatre-based company designed for Latinos working in the industry.
Ricardo Montalbán was the epitome of elegance & grace on screen & in life. He paved the way for being outspoken about the images of Latino roles in Hollywood & his legacy will live on through The Ricardo Montalbán Foundation.
His autobiography, Reflections: A Life in Two Worlds was published in 1980.
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?