Friday, January 16, 2009

Ricardo Montalban, RIP

Khaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaannn! 

Saying that and cracking jokes about the man's cleavage isn't going to be half as 
fun anymore. Neither will making those impressions of the original Fantasy Island's Tattoo (De plane! De plane!) be half as satisfying.  

He died yesterday, the actor best-known for his role of genetically engineered superman Khan Noonien Singh on Star Trek  and for his other, more sedate role of Fantasy Island proprietor Mr. Roarke. The people who spend time surfing the Catholic Channels will find Ricardo Montalban 1) thanking God, 2) advocating the rosary, or 3) hawking rosaries with stones from a cave in Jerusalem encapsulated in their crosses. And he was spokesman for the Chrysler Cordoba in the mid-seventies.  ....Not that any of these things ring bells with my four gentle readers.

I guess what should strike them is that the man lived to a ripe old age and somehow didn't piss people off, sully his reputation or figure in a high-profile brouhaha with other celebrities. Considering the climate in Hollywood, that's saying a lot. He was so nice the Pope knighted him, sort of. He was a role model for many Latinos everywhere-- a Mexican who made it big in the 'States, who never give up his Mexican citizenship up to he day he died.    

Ricardo Montalban is dead, reminding us of our own mortality. Reminding some of us yet again of how close we are to it. It's as if the creaky joints, the arrhythmia, the disproportionately increased insulin levels were not enough. 

There is so much for us to do-- like yell "Khaaaaaaaaaaan!" into a Starfleet communicator or praise the Chrysler's "soft Corinthian leather" in Montalban's distinct mellifluous voice--  and so very little precious time to do it in. 

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