Star Trek is often thought of as being a science fiction franchise about brainy people who generally get along and find themselves involved in complex morality plays, and yeah, it is. However, Star Trek is also full of dark, mysterious, physically commanding and sexy bad guys (and girls).
Ricardo Montalban—Star Trek‘s Khan, Fantasy Island”s Mr. Roarke, and one the few Hispanic actors to find lead work in 1950’s Hollywood—has passed away at the age of 88. His last on-screen role was the grandfather in 2003’s Spy Kids 3-D, though he continued to do voice work until his death, appearing in a Family Guy episode in 2008. Montalban’s wife of 63 years, Georgiana Young, died in 2007.
While Montalban is loved for countless TV and film performances in a career that began with 1942’s Five Were Chosen and continued through Border Incident, Sweet Charity, two Planet Of The Apes movies, Star Trek II and The Naked Gun, it may have been this 1975 Chrysler Cordoba ad that cemented his grandly romantic persona. Three years before Fantasy Island, Montalban waxed poetic about the car’s “thickly cushioned seats even able in soft corinthian leather” over swelling flamenco music. “Yet, it is on the highway that the Cordoba best answers…my demands.” His narration has been referenced on everything from SCTV to Wayne’s World, and it deserves a viral resurrection. RIP, Ricardo.
[Photo: Getty Images]