Thursday, January 15, 2009

Ricardo Montalban, R.I.P.

By Mitchell

I don't have an intensely personal story to share on Ricardo Montalban, who died yesterday at age 88. But one can't let his death go unnoticed, either. There's so much to choose from: Rich Corinthian Leather! Zee Plane, Boss! Khan! I'll remember him most from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, when his wonderfully over-the-top villain helped save a franchise that, in its first movie incarnation, threatened to become bogged down in metaphysical and philosophical mystery. Khan was what the Star Trek movies desperately needed: a juicy, exciting, action-packed shootout in space. It had it all, topped off by the scenery-chewing of Shatner, Montalban, Walter Koenig, and all the rest. That was a two-popcorn-tub movie.

But Montalban, though he may never have been a mega-star, was a star indeed, with a long and successful career. CNN refers to his "dignified demeanor and rich accent" - Ricardo Montalban was a class act on the screen, and that's the way we'll remember him.

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