Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Tribute: Ricardo Montalban

posted by Nell Minow

Mexican-born leading man Ricardo Montalban died this morning at age 88. He may be best remembered now for his commercials for the Chrysler Cordoba (with the “rich Corinthian leather) and for Maxwell House coffee, but that is because even at the end of his career, his warm, inviting voice was unforgettable.

Montalban had a remarkable and varied career that included musicals (“On an Island With You”), silly comedy (The Naked Gun – From the Files of Police Squad!), drama , family movies (Spy Kids 2 – The Island of Lost Dreams and The Ant Bully), television (Fantasy Island), and of course the title role in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

Back in the days when Hollywood figured that any non-Anglo-Saxon ethnic group could substitute for any other, Montalban was cast as a Japanese actor in Sayonara and a Native American in movies like “Across the Wide Missouri” and on television Westerns like “Bonanza.” He performed these roles with dignity and grace. He was one of the last of the great leading men of the 1940′s-70′s and we are lucky to have so many of his magnificent performances to watch again.



  • Anonymous

    Ricardo Montalban will be missed! He portrayed such a caring and brave grandfather in the Spy Kids movies! (Definitely worth seeing, if your kids like fantasy and are not too little for suspense and action). Mr. Montalban is appreciated for appearing in family friendly films. Condolences and God’s comfort to his own family!

  • jestrfyl

    Mr Montalban brought an air of class and a sense of elegance even to the weirdest roles. He made Khan more than another mere space villain – he added the edge of craziness and megalomania that made the role. And who would not want to shake hands with Mr Rourke – who was not only the greatest host in the world, I suspect he may have known Dumbledore and Merlin at one time or another – perhaps Fantasy Island hosted the Wizengamot a couple of times. He was graceful even in comedy roles and included a whimsical style even in his more debonair characters. I liked him and admired the way he made the roles his own without sacrificing the writers’ intent and the producers’ visionI expect he may be right next to St
    Peter welcoming the next arrivals to – well, whatever you choose to call it.

  • Your Name

    How do you figure that Ricardo Montalban is non-white? His parents were Spaniards. He was of European descent.

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    You’re right — I meant non-Anglo-Saxon. I’ll amend it. Thanks so much.

  • http://www.coffeerama.com coffee

    Dos Equis should have hired Ricardo Montalban to do a few ads for them, he could have done their “most interesting man in the world” bit perfectly (he has a Spanish accent too)

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    Great idea, coffee! If only!

Previous Posts

How Do Movies Show Time Passing?
Someone once said that movies are "pieces of time." A few take place in "real time." Alfred Hitchcock's experiment, "Rope," unfolds in just the time it takes us to watch it, all in what appears to be one seamless shot. But others take place over days, weeks, years, even generations. Slavko Vorkap

posted 8:00:40am Jul. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Boring TV Makes You Fat
A new study finds that boring television leads to mindless snacking and that leads to putting on pounds. So, watch programs that excite and engage you. Or, if the show is boring, turn off the television.

posted 8:00:05am Jul. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Switched at Birth and the End of Life
I'm a big fan of ABC Family's Switched at Birth and have appreciated its complicated characters, honest and heartfelt relationships, and compelling storylines, as well as its unprecedented, in-depth portrayal of the deaf community. Last week's episode may have been the all-time best (SPOILER ALERT)

posted 3:59:49pm Jul. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Comic-Con 2014
It's here!  San Diego Comic-Con begins Wednesday night in San Diego and I'll be there.  This is my favorite event of the year, a chance to find out what everyone will be watching, listening to, playing, and otherwise enjoying over the next few years.  As I always say, this is the Iowa caucuses of

posted 8:00:20am Jul. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Wish I Was Here
My intention was to review Zach Braff's new film without mentioning the controversy he stirred up in funding it via Kickstarter.  My view was that what mattered was the movie itself, and the kerfluffle over how it was all paid for was beside the point.  But it turns out that it is the point.  "Sc

posted 7:21:07pm Jul. 20, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.