Ricardo Montalban

(Ricardo Gonzalo Pedro Matalban y Merino)
Born: 11/25/1920
Birthplace: Mexico City, Mexico

A Mexican native with an easygoing manner, dark-eyed intensity, and a lyrical Spanish accent, Ricardo Montalban first gained fame for his “Latin lover” roles opposite 1940s and 1950s stars, such as Cyd Charisse and Esther Williams. Younger audiences know him as Mr. Roarke from Fantasy Island (1978–84) or as Khan from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982). Despite these seemingly lightweight roles, Montalban has earned high critical marks for his roles in such films as Battleground (1949) and Sayonara (1957). He also earned an Emmy Award for his role as a Sioux chief in the 1976 television miniseries How the West Was Won. Montalban's unwillingness to succumb to Latin stereotypes led him to found Nosotros (“Us”) in 1973, an organization that focused on improving the depiction of Hispanic performers in the media.

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