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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Remembering Ricardo Montalban

Some spookily ill-starred timing below in mentioning Star Trek characters frozen in time — with the loss today of Ricardo Montalban.

ABC, CBS, and NBC each had segments on Montalban in tonight's evening news broadcast; both ABC and CBS mentioned Fantasy Island and the Chrysler commercials — only NBC also included a Star Trek clip (which sort of makes sense, as Island was ABC and Trek was NBC). NBC also mentioned his earlier musicals. I remember fondly Battleground, his WWII film with Van Johnson (mentioned here earlier).

Island was very much of its time, but I always liked the little touches of mystery Montalban brought to the role — a very subtly implied mysticism, as opposed to the more overt portrayal of the same character by Malcolm MacDowell (another Trek movie villain!) in the short-lived revival. He was always fun to watch — and will be missed.
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