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Ricardo Montalbán

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Ricardo Montalbán
Montalbán as Mr. Roarke in Fantasy Island (1977)
Ricardo Gonzalo Pedro Montalbán y Merino

(1920-11-25)November 25, 1920
Mexico City, Mexico
DiedJanuary 14, 2009(2009-01-14) (aged 88)
Resting placeHoly Cross Cemetery, Culver City
NationalityMexican, American[1]
Years active1941–2008
(m. 1944; died 2007)
RelativesCarlos Montalbán (brother)
AwardsEmmy Award (1978)
Screen Actors Guild (1993)
Hollywood Walk of Fame

Ricardo Gonzalo Pedro Montalbán y Merino, KSG (/ˌmɒntəlˈbɑːn/ MON-təl-BAHN; Spanish: [montalˈβan]; November 25, 1920 – January 14, 2009) was a Mexican and American film and television actor. Montalbán's career spanned seven decades, during which he became widely known for performances in genres from crime and drama to musicals and comedy.

Later in his career, Montalbán portrayed Armando in the Planet of the Apes film series from the early 1970s, starring in both Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971) and Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972). As the villain Khan Noonien Singh, a genetically enhanced human, he starred in both the original Star Trek television series (1967) and the film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982).

During the 1970s and 1980s, Montalbán was a spokesman for Chrysler for thirteen years, featured in their automotive commercials and advertisements, notably those in which he extolled the "rich Corinthian leather" used in the Cordoba's interior.[2]

Montalbán played Mr. Roarke on the television series Fantasy Island (1977–1984). He won an Emmy Award for his role in the miniseries How the West Was Won (1978),[3] and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Screen Actors Guild in 1993. Montalbán was professionally active into his eighties, providing voices for animated films and commercials, and appearing as Grandfather Valentin in the Spy Kids franchise.

Early life


Montalbán was born on November 25, 1920, in Mexico City, and grew up in Torreón,[4] the son of Spanish immigrants Ricarda Merino Jiménez and Genaro Balbino Montalbán Busano, a store manager,[5] who raised him as a Catholic.[6][7] He was born with an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) in his spine.[8] Montalbán had a sister, Carmen, and two brothers, Pedro and Carlos.[9] As a teenager, he moved to Los Angeles to live with Carlos. They moved to New York City in 1940, and Montalbán earned a minor role in the play Her Cardboard Lover.[10]



Short films


In 1941, Montalbán appeared in three-minute musicals produced for the Soundies film jukeboxes. He appeared in many of the New York–produced Soundies as an extra or as a member of a singing chorus (usually billed as Men and Maids of Melody), although he had the lead role in He's a Latin from Staten Island (1941), in which he (billed simply as "Ricardo") played the title role of a guitar-strumming gigolo, accompanied by an offscreen vocal by Gus Van.[11]

Mexican films


Later in 1941, Montalbán returned to Mexico after learning that his mother was dying. There, he acted in a dozen Spanish-language films and became a star in his homeland.[12]

He had an uncredited appearance in a version of The Three Musketeers (1942) starring Cantinflas. He can be glimpsed in El verdugo de Sevilla (1942), The Saint That Forged a Country (1942) starring Ramon Navarro, and La razón de la culpa (1943).

Stardom in Mexico


Montalbán became a star in Mexico in Santa (1943), which was directed by a Hollywood expat, Norman Foster. He followed it with a support role in Cinco fueron escogidos (1943).

Some American filmmakers shot a movie in Mexico about Yugoslavia in World War II, Five Were Chosen (1944). Montalbán had a support role.[13]

Foster gave him a second lead role in The Escape (1944) aka La Fuga. Montalban had the star role in Cadetes de la naval, Nosotros, and The Hour of Truth (all 1945), the latter a bullfighting drama also directed by Foster.[14]

Montalban was in The House of the Fox (1945), Pepita Jimenez (1946), and Fantasía ranchera (1947).


As Mario Morales in Fiesta
Montalbán dancing with Jane Powell in Two Weeks With Love (1950)

Montalbán's films had been seen by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer who were looking for someone to play a bullfighter opposite Esther Williams in Fiesta (1947), shot in Mexico. Montalbán was cast and the movie was very popular; Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer signed him to a long-term contract.[15][16]

The studio re-teamed him with Williams in On an Island with You (1948). He had a dance number in the Frank Sinatra musical The Kissing Bandit (1948), then did a third film with Williams, Neptune's Daughter (1949), in which they dueted on "Baby It's Cold Outside".[14]

Montalbán's first leading role was in the film noir Border Incident (1949) with actor George Murphy, directed by Anthony Mann. It was one of a number of lower budgeted films made at the studio under Dore Schary and earned a small loss. Montalbán was the first Hispanic actor to appear on the front cover of Life magazine on November 21, 1949. "I was king for a week," he said later. "I thought the offers would flood in, but after a week—nothing."[17]

Montalban was one of several soldiers in the William Wellman war film Battleground (1949), a huge success at the box office. He was given another star role in Mystery Street (1950), playing a detective in a film noir directed by John Sturges. It was a box office disappointment.

Sturges also directed Right Cross (1950) with Montalbán, Dick Powell and June Allyson. Montalbán and Jane Powell made the musical Two Weeks with Love (1950), which was a minor hit.[15][18]

Universal borrowed Montalbán and Cyd Charisse for a swashbuckler, The Mark of the Renegade (1951).[19] Back at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, he was second billed to Clark Gable in Across the Wide Missouri (1951), directed by Wellman. The film was a big hit, although Montalbán was injured during shooting.[14]

The studio teamed him and Shelley Winters in My Man and I (1952) where he played a laborer under the direction of Wellman; it didn't sell well at the box office.

Montalbán was one of several names in Sombrero (1953), shot in Mexico. Montalbán was Lana Turner's leading man in Latin Lovers (1953). Both films lost money and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer let him go.

He later said, "I played caricatures of what a Latin is supposed to be like. In reality, we are family men. I should have had the courage of Dolores Del Rio who returned to Mexico and made her best movies there."[20]

B movies, television, and Broadway


Montalbán did a swashbuckler for Sam Katzman, The Saracen Blade (1954), then returned to Mexico to star in Untouched (1954).

He travelled to Italy to make The Queen of Babylon (1954) with Rhonda Fleming, then returned to Mexico to make the US-financed A Life in the Balance (1955) with Anne Bancroft. He bought a story for himself, Green Shadows, but it appears to have not been made.[21]

Montalbán began working in television, guest-starring on shows such as General Electric Theater, The Ford Television Theatre, Celebrity Playhouse, Climax!, The 20th Century-Fox Hour (versions of Broken Arrow and Five Fingers), Chevron Hall of Stars, Wagon Train, and Schlitz Playhouse.

In 1955, he appeared on Broadway in Seventh Heaven with Gloria DeHaven but it ran for only forty-four performances. In Hollywood, he appeared in the thriller for Allied Artists, Three for Jamie Dawn (1956).

Montalbán returned to Italy for Desert Warrior (1957), then had his first role in an "A" Hollywood film for a number of years in Sayonara (1957), in which he played a Japanese dancer. He later said, "I was and still am very pleased with my performance and very much saddened by this picture. I was hoping for an Academy Award nomination, but unfortunately, most of my scenes ended up on the cutting-room floor."[13]

From 1957 to 1959, Montalbán starred in the Broadway musical Jamaica, singing several light-hearted calypso numbers opposite Lena Horne, which ran for 555 performances.[citation needed] His performance earned him a Tony Award nomination.[22]

Montalbán continued to guest-star on shows such as Colgate Theatre and Playhouse 90. When Jamaica ended, he guest-starred in Riverboat, Adventures in Paradise, Startime, Death Valley Days, Bonanza, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Christophers, The Dinah Shore Chevy Show, The Loretta Young Show (several times), Zorro, The Untouchables, Checkmate, Cain's Hundred, and The Lloyd Bridges Show.

Montalbán could also be seen in Let No Man Write My Epitaph (1960); the TV remake of Rashomon (1960) directed by Sidney Lumet; Rage of the Buccaneers (1961), an Italian swashbuckler in which Montalbán had a lead role alongside Vincent Price; Hemingway's Adventures of a Young Man (1962); The Reluctant Saint (1963) with Maximillian Schell; and Love is a Ball (1963) with Glenn Ford, playing a French duke. He was the Native American leader Little Wolf in Cheyenne Autumn (1964) directed by John Ford, did the TV version of The Fantasticks (1964), and returned to Mexico to make ¡Buenas noches, año nuevo! (1964).[23]

He was mostly seen, though, on television in Alcoa Premiere, The Dick Powell Theatre, Ben Casey, The Greatest Show on Earth, The Lieutenant, The Great Adventure, Slattery's People, The Defenders, The Rogues, Burke's Law, Dr. Kildare, and The Man from U.N.C.L.E..[24]

Montalbán had supporting roles in The Money Trap (1965) with Ford, directed by Burt Kennedy, Madame X (1966) with Turner for producer Ross Hunter, and The Singing Nun (1966) with Debbie Reynolds at MGM.

He guest-starred in The Long, Hot Summer, Daniel Boone, The Wild Wild West, Insight, Combat!, Mission: Impossible, I Spy, Hawaii Five-O (playing a Japanese-American crime boss [1]), and Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre.

In 1965, he toured in The King and I. "'I think every actor loves the stage,' he said in 1991. 'The pros are that it is the actor's medium; there's no way your scene is going to end up on the cutting-room floor, and it's up to you to get and keep the attention of the audience by the truth of your performance.'"[25]

He appeared in the TV movies Alice Through the Looking Glass (1966) (for which his fee was $10,000,[17] equivalent to $94,000 today.[26]) and Code Name: Heraclitus (1967), and the features The Longest Hundred Miles (1967), Sol Madrid (1968), and Blue (1968). He also guest-starred on "Space Seed", an episode of Star Trek. "I'm like a doctor on 24-hour call," he said in a 1967 interview. "I don't turn anything down."[17]

Montalbán also starred in radio, such as on the internationally syndicated program Lobo del Mar (Seawolf), in which he was cast as the captain of a vessel that became part of some adventure at each port it visited. This 30-minute weekly show aired in many Spanish-speaking countries until the early 1970s.

Television movies


Montalbán guest-starred in The Felony Squad, Ironside, It Takes a Thief, and The High Chaparral. He did the TV movies The Pigeon (1969), The Desperate Mission (1969) (playing Joaquin Murrieta), and Black Water Gold (1970), and had a supporting role in the big screen film version of Sweet Charity (1969).[27]

Montalbán was in The Name of the Game; Gunsmoke; Dan August; Bracken's World; Marcus Welby, M.D.; The Virginian; The Doris Day Show; Sarge; and Nichols. He did the TV movies The Aquarians (1970), The Face of Fear (1971), and Fireball Forward (1972) and the features The Deserter (1970), Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971), Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, and The Train Robbers (1973) (directed by Kennedy).[28][29]

Montalbán continued to guest-star on shows like O'Hara, U.S. Treasury; Here's Lucy; and Griff.

In 1972, Montalbán co-founded the Screen Actors Guild Ethnic Minority Committee with actors Carmen Zapata, Henry Darrow and Edith Diaz. In 1973, he returned to Broadway for a revival of Don Juan in Hell. He did the TV movies Wonder Woman (1974), The Mark of Zorro (1974), McNaughton's Daughter (1976), and guest-starred on Switch and Columbo.

In 1975, he was chosen as the television spokesman for the new Chrysler Cordoba. The car became a successful model, and over the following several years, was heavily advertised; his mellifluous delivery of a line praising the "soft" or "rich Corinthian leather" upholstery of the car's interior, often misquoted as "fine Corinthian leather,” became famous and was much parodied, and Montalbán subsequently became a favorite subject of impersonators. For example, Eugene Levy frequently impersonated him on SCTV, as did Dan Aykroyd on Saturday Night Live. In 1986, he was featured in a magazine advertisement for the new Chrysler New Yorker.[30]

Montalbán is in Won Ton Ton: The Dog Who Saved Hollywood (1976), and Joe Panther (1976) and had a regular role in a short lived series Executive Suite (1976). He guest-starred on Police Story and did the TV movies Mission to Glory: A True Story (1977), Captains Courageous (1977), as well as the miniseries How the West Was Won (1978).

Fantasy Island and Star Trek II

Ricardo Montalbán as Mr. Roarke and Hervé Villechaize as Tattoo in a publicity still for the television movie Return to Fantasy Island

Montalbán's best-known television role was that of Mr. Roarke on the television series Fantasy Island, which he played from 1977 until 1984. For a while, the series was one of the most popular on television, and his character as well as that of his sidekick, Tattoo (played by Hervé Villechaize), became popular icons.

Another of his well-known roles was that of Khan Noonien Singh in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982), in which he reprised a role that he had originated in the episode of Star Trek titled "Space Seed" (1967). Early rumors suggested Montalbán wore prosthetic muscles on his chest during filming of Star Trek II to appear more muscular. Director Nicholas Meyer replied that even in his sixties, Montalbán, who had a vigorous training regimen, was "one strong cookie", and that his real chest was seen on film. Khan's costume was specifically designed to display Montalbán's physique.

His performance as Khan was widely praised. Critic Christopher Null called Khan the "greatest role of Montalbán's career".[31] New Yorker critic Pauline Kael said Montalbán's performance as Khan "was the only validation he has ever had of his power to command the big screen".[32] Roger Ebert of The Chicago Sun-Times wrote how this type of film was "only as good as its villain" and Montalbán's decision to avoid overacting and instead play the character as motivated by "deeply wounded pride" inspired a measure of sympathy in the audience.[33]

Montalbán agreed to take the role for a significant pay cut, since by his own admission, he relished reprising the role, and his only regret was that he and William Shatner never interacted – the characters never meet face to face, except through video communication – for their scenes were filmed several months apart in order to accommodate Montalbán's schedule for Fantasy Island.[34] When, much later, Montalbán guest-starred in the Family Guy episode "McStroke" as a genetically engineered cow, his character made several references to his role as Khan, and similar references were made in his role as Guitierrez on the animated series Freakazoid!. After a cameo in Cannonball Run II (1984), Montalbán had a guest role in Dynasty which led to a regular role in its spin-off The Colbys.

Montalbán played the villain in The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988) and guest-starred in B.L. Stryker; Murder, She Wrote; Hearts Are Wild; and The Golden Palace.

Injury and later career


During the filming of the film Across the Wide Missouri (1951), Montalbán was thrown from his horse, knocked unconscious, and trampled by another horse, which aggravated his arteriovenous malformation[8] and resulted in a traumatic back injury that never healed. The pain increased as he aged, and in 1993, he underwent over nine hours of spinal surgery that left his body below the waist impaired and requiring the use of mobility aids.[35]

Despite constant pain, he continued to perform, providing voices for animated films and supporting his Nosotros Foundation. Filmmaker Robert Rodriguez created a role in his Spy Kids film series specifically for Montalbán.

He had another regular series with Heaven Help Us (1994), but it only lasted 14 episodes.

In 1997, Montalbán sued the producers of Fantasy Island claiming he was entitled to five percent of the profits. The producers claimed the show had lost $11 million. The matter settled out of court.[36]

Montalbán also narrated several historical documentaries including the Spanish version of the National Park Service's history of Pecos Pueblo for Pecos National Historical Park.

At one point during the development of the Disney animated film Lilo & Stitch (2002), Montalbán recorded voice lines for an alien member of a gang led by Stitch, then made to be an adult, naturally-born alien gang leader, using his performance as Khan in Star Trek II as basis. After a story meeting in which the film's gang elements were entirely cut due to being perceived as superfluous to the plot, Montalbán's character and all his already-recorded voice lines were removed.[37]

Montalbán had a supporting role in Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams (2002) and Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (2003).

Prior to his death in January 2009, Montalbán recorded the voice for a guest character in an episode of the animated series American Dad!, in which main character Roger becomes the dictator of a South American country. According to executive producer Mike Barker, it was his last role after The Ant Bully.[38]

Nosotros Foundation and Montalbán Theatre


The way he was asked to portray Mexicans disturbed him, so Montalbán, along with Richard Hernandez, Val de Vargas, Rodolfo Hoyos Jr., Carlos Rivas, Tony de Marco, and Henry Darrow,[39] established the Nosotros ("We") Foundation in 1970 to advocate for Latinos in the movie and television industries.[40] He served as its first president, and was quoted as saying: "I received tremendous support, but there also were some negative repercussions. I was accused of being a militant, and as a result I lost jobs."[12] Ironically, the Nosotros Foundation and he were instrumental in taking roles away from Nico Minardos, a Greek-American actor who in the 1970s often played Latino roles because of his appearance and accent. Minardos similarly became outspoken, and according to his agent and others, it cost him a recurring role as a Mexican mayor in an episode of Alias Smith and Jones.[41]

The foundation created the Golden Eagle Awards, an annual awards show highlighting Latino actors. The awards are presented in conjunction with the Nosotros American Latino Film Festival, held at the Ricardo Montalbán Theatre in Hollywood.[39]

Ricardo Montalbán Hollywood Walk of Fame Star shortly after his death

The Nosotros Foundation and the Ricardo Montalbán Foundation agreed to purchase the Doolittle Theatre in 1999 from UCLA.[42] The theater had been owned by Howard Hughes in the early 1930s, then later was renamed the Huntington Hartford Theater when purchased in 1954 by philanthropist Huntington Hartford,[43] then later the Doolittle Theater. The process from agreement to opening took over four years. The facility in Hollywood was officially renamed the Ricardo Montalbán Theatre in a May 11, 2004, ceremony. The event was attended by numerous celebrities, including Ed Begley Jr. representing the Screen Actors Guild, Valerie Harper, Loni Anderson, Hector Elizondo, and Robert Goulet.[44]

When Montalbán rolled onto the stage in his wheelchair, he repeated "the five stages of the actor" (originally coined by Jack Elam to describe the course of his own career). Montalbán had become famous for using the self-deprecating joke in interviews and in public speeches:

  • Who is Ricardo Montalbán?
  • Get me Ricardo Montalbán.
  • Get me a Ricardo Montalbán type.
  • Get me a young Ricardo Montalbán.
  • Who is Ricardo Montalbán?

He then jokingly added two more stages:

  • "Wait a minute—isn't that What's-his-name?", referring to his role in the Spy Kids movies
  • "Who the hell is that?", believing that to be the reaction of people seeing his name on the theater marquee.[44]

Montalbán spoke about the goal of the Nosotros organization:[44]

Mexico is my mother; the United States the best friend I will ever have. And so I dream of the day when my mother will say, 'Ricardo, you have chosen a wonderful friend.' And the day when the friend will say, 'Ricardo, you have a sensational mother.' That is why it is very important to bring us together. Brothers and sisters, love thy neighbor as thyself. And this theatre, I think, can be a little grain of sand towards that end. Here we have opened the doors not only for the opportunity of young talent to develop—writers, directors, actors—but also in coming together as a group in this society in which we live. Let's open a hand of friendship and love and brotherhood. That is my dream. I'll never see it complete while I'm still alive, but I think this is the beginning, and that is what makes me so happy to see this come to fruition.

Personal life

Montalbán with wife Georgiana Young (c. 1950)

After seeing Georgiana Young in The Story of Alexander Graham Bell (1939), then-18-year-old Montalbán became enamored of the 15-year-old Young – half-sister of actresses Sally Blane, Polly Ann Young, and Loretta Young.[45] Montalbán had started his own stage and film career by the time the two met on a blind date; Montalbán proposed that evening, later stating "It took a week to persuade her."[45] They married in 1944, and had four children together: Laura, Mark, Anita and Victor.[4][46] After 63 years of marriage, Young died in 2007, at age 83.[47]

Montalbán was a practicing Catholic, once claiming that his religion was the most important thing in his life.[48] He was a member of the Good Shepherd Parish and the Catholic Motion Picture Guild in Beverly Hills, California.[49] In 1998, Pope John Paul II made him a Knight of the Order of St. Gregory the Great (KSG),[50] the highest honor a Roman Catholic lay person can receive from the Church.[7] In 1986, in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty, he recorded a public service announcement celebrating the United States' generosity and hospitality to him as a foreign-born actor.[51]

His autobiography Reflections: A Life in Two Worlds was published in January 1980 by Doubleday.[52]

For many years, he followed a strict diet and physical training regimen, giving him an enviable physique. After the release of The Wrath of Khan, director Nicholas Meyer was quick to quell any rumors of Montalbán's using prosthetics during filming.[53]

In 2005,[54] Montalbán was due to receive an honorary doctorate from the University of New Mexico, but due to circumstances was unable to attend the ceremony. On May 13, 2023, Montalbán was posthumously awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from UNM, which was received by his granddaughter Lydia Martinez.[55]



On January 14, 2009, Montalbán died at his home in Los Angeles at the age of 88. According to his son-in-law, Gilbert Smith, he died of "complications from advancing age".[47] The precise cause of death was revealed to be congestive heart failure.[56][57] He is buried in the Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California.

In the film My Dinner with Hervé (2018), Montalbán was played by Andy García.




Year Title Role Notes
1941 Soundies Chorus Member / Crowd Extra Musical Shorts
1942 The Three Musketeers Uncredited
El verdugo de Sevilla Jacobito as Ricardo Montalvan
The Saint Who Forged a Country Soldado Uncredited
1943 La razón de la culpa Anunciador en barco Uncredited
Santa Jarameño
Five Were Chosen Stefan
1944 The Escape Teniente
1945 Cadetes de la Naval Cadet Ricardo Almagro
Nosotros Armando Suárez
La hora de la verdad Rafael Meija
La casa de la zorra Alberto Salcedo
1946 Pepita Jiménez Luis Vargas
1947 Fantasía ranchera
Fiesta Mario Morales
1948 On an Island with You Ricardo Montez
The Kissing Bandit Fiesta Specialty Dancer
1949 Neptune's Daughter José O'Rourke
Border Incident Pablo Rodriguez
Battleground Rodriguez
1950 Mystery Street Lieutenant Peter Morales
Right Cross Johnny Monterez
Two Weeks With Love Demi Armendez
1951 The Mark of the Renegade Marcos Zappa
Across the Wide Missouri Ironshirt
1952 My Man and I Chu Chu Ramirez
1953 Sombrero Pepe Gonzales
Latin Lovers Roberto Santos
1954 The Saracen Blade Pietro Donati
Sombra verde Federico Gascón
Queen of Babylon Amal
1955 A Life in the Balance Antonio Gómez
1956 Three for Jamie Dawn George Lorenz
1957 Desert Warrior Prince Said
Sayonara Nakamura
1960 Let No Man Write My Epitaph Louie Ramponi
1961 Rage of the Buccaneers Captain Gordon
1962 Hemingway's Adventures of a Young Man Major Padula
The Reluctant Saint Father Raspi
1963 Love Is a Ball Duke Gaspard Ducluzeau
1964 Cheyenne Autumn Little Wolf
The Fantasticks El Gallo TV movie
¡Buenas noches, año nuevo! Fernando
1965 The Money Trap Pete Delanos
1966 Madame X Phil Benton
The Singing Nun Father Clementi
1967 The Longest Hundred Miles Father Sanchez
1968 Sol Madrid Jalisco
Blue Ortega
1969 Sweet Charity Vittorio Vitale
Desperate Mission Joaquin Murrieta TV movie
1970 The Deserter Natachai
1971 The Face of Fear Sergeant Frank Ortega TV movie
Escape from the Planet of the Apes Armando
1972 Conquest of the Planet of the Apes Armando
1973 The Train Robbers The Pinkerton Man
1974 The Mark of Zorro Captain Esteban TV movie
1976 Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood Silent Film Star
Joe Panther Turtle George
1977 Mission to Glory: A True Story General Lafuente
Captains Courageous Manuel TV movie
1982 Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan Khan Noonien Singh
1984 Cannonball Run II King
1988 The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! Vincent Ludwig
2002 Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams Grandpa Valentin Avellan
2003 Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over
2006 The Ant Bully The Head of Council Voice; Final role[58]


Year Title Role Notes
1955 The Ford Television Theatre Carlos Cortez Episode: "Cardboard Casanova"
Climax! Pete McLean Episode: "The Mojave Kid"
1956 General Electric Theater Esteban Espinosa Episode: "Esteban's Legacy"
Celebrity Playhouse Episode: "The Foreigner"
Chevron Hall of Stars 2 episodes
Climax! Joe Bermudes Episode: "Island in the City"
The Ford Television Theatre Carlos Dominguez Episode: "Lady in His Life"
The 20th Century-Fox Hour Cicero & Cochise 2 Episodes: "Operation Cicero" and "Broken Arrow"
1957 Wagon Train Jean LeBec Episode: "The Jean LeBec Story"
Schlitz Playhouse Pietro Episode: "Storm Over Rapallo"
Playhouse 90 Teddy Green Episode: "Child of Trouble"
1958 Colgate Theatre Tio Episode: "Tonight in Havana"
1959 Adventures in Paradise Henri Privaux Episode: "The Derelict"
Riverboat Lieutenant Andre B. Devereaux Episode: "A Night at Trapper's Landing"
Playhouse 90 Vicente Hidalgo Episode: "Trouble for Three"
1960 Alfred Hitchcock Presents "Tony" Lorca / Pepe Lorca Season 6 Episode 7: "Outlaw in Town"
Death Valley Days Joaquin Murietta Episode: "Eagle in the Rocks"
Bonanza Matsou Episode: "Day of Reckoning"
Play of the Week Bandit Tasmoro Episode: "Rashomon"
Startime Turk Episode: "Jeff McLeod, the Last Reb"
Roshomon Television film
Hamlet Claudius[59] Television film
1961 The Dinah Shore Chevy Show Karl Steiner 1 episode
The Untouchables Frank Makouris Episode: "Stranglehold"
1962 Cain's Hundred Vincent Pavanne Episode: "A Creature Lurks in Ambush"
The Lloyd Bridges Show Navarro Episode: "War Song"
The Virginian Enrique Cuellar Episode: "The Big Deal"
1963 Ben Casey Henry Davis Episode: "Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast"
1964 The Lieutenant Private First Class John Reading Episode: "Tour of Duty"
The Defenders "Spanish John" Espejo Episode: "Whitewash"
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Satine Episode: "The Dove Affair"
1966 The Wild Wild West Colonel Noel Bartley Vautrain Episode: "The Night of the Lord of Limbo"
Dr. Kildare Damon West 4 episodes
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Delgado Episode: "The King of Diamonds Affair"
Daniel Boone Count Alfonso De Borba Episode: "The Symbol"
I Spy General Vera Episode: "Magic Mirror"
1967 Star Trek Khan Noonien Singh Episode: "Space Seed"
The Longest Hundred Miles Father Sanchez Television film
Mission: Impossible Gerard Sefra Episode: "Snowball in Hell"
Combat! Barbu Episode: "Gadjo"
1968 Ironside Sergeant Al Cervantes Episode: "The Sacrifice"
The High Chaparral El Tigre Episode: "Tiger by the Tail"
It Takes a Thief Nick Grobbo 2 episodes
The Virginian Louis Boissevain Episode: "The Wind of Outrage"
Hawaii Five-O Tokura Episode: "Samurai"
The High Chaparral Padre Sanchez Episode: "Our Lady of Guadalupe"
1970 Gunsmoke Chato Episode: "Chato"
Marcus Welby, M.D. Rick Rivera Episode: "Labyrinth"
1971 The Doris Day Show Richard Cordovan Episode: "Billy's First Date"
1972 Here's Lucy Prince Phillip Gregory Hennepin of Montalbania Episode: "Lucy and Her Prince Charming"
Hawaii Five-O Alex Pareno Episode: "Death Wish on Tantalus Mountain"
1973 Griff Episode: "Countdown to Terror"
Death Follows the Psycho[60] Human Time Bomb
1974 Wonder Woman Abner Smith Pilot
1975 Switch Jean-Paul Episode: "Kiss of Death"
1976 Columbo Luis Montoya Episode: "A Matter of Honor"
1976-1977 Executive Suite David Valerio 8 episodes
1977 Police Story Major Sergio Flores Episode: "Hard Rock Brown"
1978 How the West Was Won Satangkai 4 episodes
1978–1984 Fantasy Island Mr. Roarke 124 episodes
1985–1987 The Colbys Zachary "Zach" Powers 48 episodes
1986 Dynasty Zachary "Zach" Powers 2 episodes
1990 B.L. Stryker Victor Costanza Episode: "High Rise"
Murder, She Wrote Vaacclav Maryska Episode: "Murder in F Sharp"
1991 Cadena braga Marcel Telenovela
Dream On Alejandro Goldman Episode: "The Second Greatest Story Ever Told"
1993 The Golden Palace Lawrence Gentry Episode: "Senor Stinky Learns Absolutely Nothing About Life"
1994 Heaven Help Us Mr. Shepherd 13 episodes
1995–1996 Freakazoid! Armando Gutierrez Voice, 5 episodes[58]
1997 Chicago Hope Colonel Martin Nieves Episode: "Colonel of Truth"
1998 Love Boat: The Next Wave Manuel Kaire Episode: "Getting to Know You"
2000 Buzz Lightyear of Star Command Vartkes Voice, episode: "Lone Wolf"[58]
2001 Titans Mr. Sanchez Episode: "Someone Wicked This Way Comes"
2002 Dora the Explorer El Encantador Voice, episode: "The Missing Piece"
2002–2007 Kim Possible Señor Senior Sr. Voice, 5 episodes
2003 The Brothers García Raul Apodaca Episode: "The Spin Zone"
2008 Family Guy The Cow Voice, episode: "McStroke"
2009 American Dad! General Juanito Pequeño Voice, episode: "Moon Over Isla Island" (final appearance)
2019 Star Trek: Short Treks Khan Noonien Singh Archival audio
Episode: "Ephraim and Dot" (posthumous appearance)


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  16. ^ MEXICAN IS SIGNED FOR LEAD IN FILM The New York Times September 25, 1945: 34.
  17. ^ a b c Ricardo Montalban Quite a Character---in Many Roles; Paul Henninger, Los Angeles Times, January 25, 1967: d16.
  18. ^ METRO WILL MAKE 'RIGHT CROSS' FILM: Ricardo Montalban Gets Lead in Prizefight Picture New York Times March 9, 1949: 33.
  19. ^ UNIVERSAL TO FILM CALIFORNIA DRAMA: Ricardo Montalban Will Star in 'Don Renegade'- New York Times September 11, 1950: 27.
  20. ^ Dignity first with Ricardo Montalban goes from Mr. Roarke to the Colby crew with class: [SA1 Edition] Jim Bawden Toronto Star. Toronto Star February 22, 1986: F10.
  21. ^ Looking at Hollywood: Ricardo Montalban Will Do Planter Who Fights Commies; Hedda Hopper. Chicago Daily Tribune March 23, 1954: a2.
  22. ^ FILMLAND EVENT: Ricardo Montalban Will Return Here Los Angeles Times April 8, 1959: A11.
  23. ^ Ricardo Montalban Career Checkered: Images of Swashbuckler, Dancer Hard to Live Down; Scheuer, Philip K., Los Angeles Times, March 19, 1963: D7.
  24. ^ RICARDO MONTALBAN NO LONGER TYPE CAST Los Angeles Times December 1, 1964: D16.
  25. ^ Ricardo Montalban is very selective about new roles Series: NEWSMAKERS REVISITED: [CITY Edition], Horning, Jay.; St. Petersburg Times, April 21, 1991: 11A.
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  27. ^ Theater: Actor Ricardo Montalban--still a Casanova type, Mary Daniels, Chicago Tribune, February 23, 1969: a8.
  28. ^ Ricardo Montalban Set for 'Lab' Role, Los Angeles Times, December 1, 1969: d34.
  29. ^ TV REVIEW: Ricardo Montalban Star of 'Aquarians', Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times, October 26, 1970: e20.
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Further reading