Ricardo Montalbán, the Mexican-born actor who rose to fame in Hollywood musicals and as Mr. Roarke in the television show ‘Fantasy Island,’ died Wednesday morning at his home.
He was 88.
In a 2004 dedication for the Ricardo Montalbán Theatre in Los Angeles, spoke of the seven stages that he has gone through as an actor through the eyes of Hollywood.
Stage 1: “Who is Ricardo Montablán?”
Stage 2: “Get me Ricardo Montalbán!”
Stage 3: “Get me a Ricardo Montalbán type!”
Stage 4: “Get me a young Ricardo Montalbán type!”
Stage 5: “Who is Ricardo Montalbán?”
Stage 6: “Wait a minute, isn’t that Ricardo Montalbán?”
Stage 7: “People will be passing by the theater a few years from now and they'll say, ‘Who the hell is that?’”
Montalbán, who has worked tirelessly on behalf of Latinos in the entertainment industry, is not a person who will be soon forgotten.
“His longevity is based on that positive attitude,” said Ontiveros, the veteran actress of movies like ‘Selena’ and ‘Real Women Have Curves,’ in 2004. “That humanity of a man, his modesty, his humbleness that he has always expressed to the world in his roles. There is that piece of mind to this man that he has always shared with his audiences.”