Star Trek II's Khan, Fantasy Island Star Ricardo Montalban, Is Dead at 88
Ricardo Montalban, a Mexican-born actor who starred in MGM films, and later in ABC's Fantasy Island, has died.
He was 88, and no cause of death was released, the Associated Press reports.
Montalban arrived in the U.S. in 1946, making a transition from Mexican cinema to Hollywood. His first stateside role was in Fiesta, opposite Esther Williams. He appeared with her again in On an Island with You in 1948 and Neptune's Daughter a year later.
It was in 1978, however, when Montalban became known as Island's magnanimous Mr. Rourke, who invited guests to his private isle and helped their fantasies come true. Sporting a white-on-white, three-piece suit, Montalban's character was accompanied by Tattoo (Hervé Villechaize), who became known for his opening catchphrase "The plane! The plane!" when guests arrived. (Watch the opener here.)
"What is appealing is the idea of attaining the unattainable and learning from it," Montalban said of the show in 1978. "Once you obtain a fantasy it becomes a reality, and that reality is not as exciting as your fantasy. Through the fantasies you learn to appreciate your own realities."
Fantasy Island concluded its run on ABC in 1984, but Montalban also continued to appear in movies through 2006, with credits including Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) — in which he reprised a character from the TV series — The Naked Gun (1988), Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams (2002) and a voice role in Ant Bully (2006).
The actor married in 1944 and is survived by four children.