Ricardo Montalban died Wednesday morning at his home in Los Angeles. The Mexico native was one of the most sought after Hispanic actors during the 1950’s and 1960’s. He went on to star in the television show “Fantasy Island” during the 1970’s.
Ricardo Montalban had a air of power, class and kindness about him.
In 1947 after starring in 13 Spanish-language films in Mexico, Montalban went to seek fame and fortune in Hollywood. He achieved his dreams. He was part of the MGM stable that often cast him as the steamy male lead with stars like Esther Williams and Lana Turner.
During the time he worked on “Across the Wide Missouri” with Clark Gable,Montalban suffered an injury to his spinal cord. He suffered pain from that accident even after surgery.
CNN quotes the actor on his desire to change the stereotype of Hispanic actors during the period of film.
“When I first came to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer under contract in 1945, that’s when the image was at its worst,” Montalban said. “They didn’t realize that by trying to be colorful, they were very insulting.”
Montalban served as the president of an organization that worked for the advancement of Hispanics in the entertainment industry. For 20 years he was devoted to Nosotros, the group he founded.
No cause of death has been reported for the actor.
Montalban’s wife of 63 years, Georgiana Young passed away in 2007. He is survived by their four children; Laura, Mark, Anita and Victor.