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Mr. Rourke, RIP
January 14, 2009 1:41 PM   Subscribe

Smiles, everyone. Ricardo Montalban dies at 88. The actor may be best remembered for his roles as Mr. Roarke in Fantasy Island and as the malevolent Khan in Star Trek (and, to a younger generation, as the grandfather in Spy Kids, and, to teevee fans, as the hawker of the fine Corinthian leather of the Cordoba), but, after early years of playing Asians (!), the actor might be most important for gaving been one of the few Hispanic actors to get lead roles during the 1950s and 60s. Also, the actor introduced the song "Baby It's Cold Outside," which he never gets credit for.
posted by Astro Zombie (131 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
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posted by Busithoth at 1:44 PM on January 14, 2009


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posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:45 PM on January 14, 2009


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God, I really hope his last role wasn't the cow in this episode of Family Guy.
posted by griphus at 1:46 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Grim Reaper's on a serious scifi kick today.
posted by cavalier at 1:47 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


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posted by cavalier at 1:47 PM on January 14, 2009


Da plane arrives no more.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 1:48 PM on January 14, 2009


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posted by jock@law at 1:49 PM on January 14, 2009


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posted by Joe Beese at 1:49 PM on January 14, 2009


May his casket be lined with rich Corinthian Leather.
posted by dnash at 1:50 PM on January 14, 2009 [13 favorites]


I hope he isn't Buried alive... Buried alive... Buried alive...

(Sorry.)
posted by Kikkoman at 1:50 PM on January 14, 2009 [5 favorites]


Astro -- the "Baby It's Cold Outside" fact is super-great trivia I never knew. Thanks!
posted by Faze at 1:51 PM on January 14, 2009


A fine Corinthian . for Senor Montalban.
posted by fixedgear at 1:51 PM on January 14, 2009


*waves to dnash*
posted by fixedgear at 1:52 PM on January 14, 2009


Anyone remember that episode of Fantasy Island where some guy wanted the experience of breaking out of prison, so he got the chance to try, and he failed, and so he says "Okay, Roarke, get me out of here, I guess it's too hard." And then Roarke says "No way, you'll stay until you achieve your fantasy."?

Because that episode messed me up as a kid.

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posted by joelhunt at 1:52 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Khaaaaan!

*sniff*

What a day.
posted by Space Kitty at 1:54 PM on January 14, 2009




Shatner reacts
posted by Bonzai at 1:54 PM on January 14, 2009


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posted by nooneyouknow at 1:56 PM on January 14, 2009


And a manly son of a bitch as well.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:59 PM on January 14, 2009


"Baby It's Cold Outside" link is DOA (copyright violation). I'd sure like to see it though as it's one of my favorite songs.
posted by stbalbach at 2:01 PM on January 14, 2009


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posted by squashotheclown at 2:02 PM on January 14, 2009


Since the other post was removed...

blahblahblahcorinthianleatherblahblahblah.

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posted by markkraft at 2:03 PM on January 14, 2009


I finding it hard to take in that my movie and television friends are mortal. They are now dead and dying. Deep down inside...I am crying.
posted by doctorschlock at 2:04 PM on January 14, 2009


"Baby It's Cold Outside" link is DOA (copyright violation). I'd sure like to see it though as it's one of my favorite songs.

Aw. Can't find another, but here he is singing "My Heart Beats Faster" with Esther Williams, from the same film.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:05 PM on January 14, 2009


Ghaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!

(But not forgotten.)
posted by william_boot at 2:07 PM on January 14, 2009


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posted by longdaysjourney at 2:08 PM on January 14, 2009


Aw, man. Mr. Rourke left a mark in my generation. Ask anyone around 30 who spent their childhood in Portugal. You see, in the 80's we had only 2 TV channels, and every afternoon on channel 2 "Agora Escolha" ("Now it's your choice") came on. The show consisted of a presentation of 2 episodes of whatever 60's or 70's show, after which you could vote for either show A or show B via phone, while another just-as-dated show was on. While you were watching, you could see the scores change *in real time*. That alone was awesome. Then, they'd broadcast the most-voted show. Yeah, we watched all of "Fantasy Island". "Smiles everyone!", indeed.
posted by neblina_matinal at 2:09 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Kahn Noonian Singh is one of the great movie bad guys of all times. He is the textbook example of the aphorism "The villain is the hero of his own story."

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posted by vibrotronica at 2:09 PM on January 14, 2009 [4 favorites]


Wow, I loved Ricardo Montalban as an actor. He was such a delightful ham. The Wrath of Kahn was only great because he and William Shatner were always out-doing each other ("I will avenge you!" "I'm laughing at the superior intellect...").
posted by misha at 2:11 PM on January 14, 2009


RIP, Ricardo. What a unique, engaging actor. And don't forget the Naked Gun role.
posted by davidmsc at 2:12 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Patrick McGoohan and Ricardo Montalban, both dead? Don't you see what this means? The island where No. 6 was imprisoned was Fantasy Island. No. 1 was Mr. Rourke. Otherwise, it's just a meaningless coincidence.
posted by hooha at 2:12 PM on January 14, 2009 [11 favorites]


Grim Reaper's on a serious scifi kick today.

I hope Martin Landau remembers to take his pills.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:12 PM on January 14, 2009


I had some other links in my too slowly posted post, you can mock me there while the thread is still open.
posted by cjorgensen at 2:12 PM on January 14, 2009


Shit.

My day is complete and utter shit.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:13 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


This sucks.

Khan!!!!!!!


Need to watch that this weekend.
posted by AstroGuy at 2:14 PM on January 14, 2009


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posted by Hairy Lobster at 2:15 PM on January 14, 2009


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posted by Stynxno at 2:18 PM on January 14, 2009


Damn. I KHAAAAAN!ed in the other post. I'll miss the guy. On Fantasy Island, he was like the creepy rich uncle I never had (I'm willing to bet he was actually Satan, or at least affiliated), or as Khan, the mentor to my budding evil genius which, I guess, I also never had.

His style was too bold for just a .


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posted by Ghidorah at 2:21 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


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posted by Fleebnork at 2:22 PM on January 14, 2009


I had some other links in my too slowly posted post, you can mock me there while the thread is still open.

When Betty Page went to the hospital for what was obviously going to be the last time, I thought about preparing some links so that I'd be ready with a... uh, fleshy obit post when the time came. But when I started rummaging through the online pictures, I got distracted somehow...

At any rate, in the end, I wasn't sorry to let someone else break the sad news.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:23 PM on January 14, 2009


"To the last, I will grapple with thee... from Hell's heart, I stab at thee! For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee!"

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posted by chris24 at 2:24 PM on January 14, 2009


He was great on Freakazoid. (So was Jonathan Harris* aka Dr. Smith.)

* No relation
posted by JHarris at 2:24 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Smiles, everyone" for the obit link? I mean, I get the reference, but wow.
posted by longsleeves at 2:25 PM on January 14, 2009


This sucks. I remember when I was a little kid watching TV and my mom would wander into the living room, see who was acting in whatever movie/show I was watching and say...."oh, their dead now." It always creeped me out, and now I find myself saying the same thing.

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posted by The Light Fantastic at 2:26 PM on January 14, 2009


Today sucks.
posted by Artw at 2:27 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


And he sang "Baby, It's Cold Outside," with, of all people, Esther Williams, best known for her cinematic synchronized swimming. It's still the best version of that song, which gets endlessly bastardized by celebrities who can't sing. Jessica Simpson was a recent one. One of those great songs that is on the lazy susan of tunes that go on generic "classics" albums. Though Montalban and Williams didn't have huge voices, their version is intimate, tender, and provocative, just as the great lyrics by Frank Loesser intend. Every other version is ham-handed. Track it down if you can. It was in the movie "Neptune's Daughter," and won an Oscar. Now it's muzak pabulum. A shame.


Oh, and since no one else has said it....


KHAAAAAAAAAAAN!
posted by oneironaut at 2:32 PM on January 14, 2009


"Smiles, everyone" for the obit link? I mean, I get the reference, but wow.

I see where you're coming from - but I don't read it that way at all. It's not "Let's be happy because he's dead." It's "Let's be happy remembering the good times we had together."
posted by Joe Beese at 2:33 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


I see I Khaaaaaned too late.
posted by oneironaut at 2:34 PM on January 14, 2009


The last thing I would encourage anyone to do is enjoy the man's death; I respected him a lot. No, it's just one of his best-known phrases. Perhaps I should have titled it something like "No more smiles for everyone," but I didn't figure on any unexpected interpretation of the link.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:37 PM on January 14, 2009


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posted by JeffK at 2:42 PM on January 14, 2009


My mother had a huge crush on Montalban, and had lunch with him and Hervé Villechaize in about 1983 or 1984 (for the life of me I cannot remember why, it was some production she was involved with). She said he was a perfect gentleman, as charming in person as he was on screen, and that Villechaize was...not.

RIP, sir.
posted by maxwelton at 2:43 PM on January 14, 2009


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posted by about_time at 2:45 PM on January 14, 2009


I'm actually on the verge of tears over this. Wrath of Khan is one of those movies I can watch anytime, and now I'll probably tear up when Khan dies too. They don't make actors like this anymore and we're getting all the poorer as a culture for it.
posted by Ruby Stevens at 2:46 PM on January 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


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posted by Thorzdad at 2:51 PM on January 14, 2009


It is very cold in space...
posted by katillathehun at 2:52 PM on January 14, 2009


Montalban and McGoohand, to my knowledge, never co-starred in anything.

Would have been interesting if they had.

Something involving, I dunno, an island.

Perhaps with polar bears.

And midgets... deployed for character-actor shock value.

Lost!/On an Is-land! (music swells).

Actually, Jack Lord would be needed also.
posted by darth_tedious at 3:00 PM on January 14, 2009


The later part of his life wasn't a lot of fun. A surgeon botched an operation on his back and left him in constant pain, confined to a wheelchair.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 3:06 PM on January 14, 2009


May he rest in peace on Ceti Alpha V.
posted by Dr. Zira at 3:07 PM on January 14, 2009


THE WREATH OF KHAN
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:09 PM on January 14, 2009


Elocution .
posted by buzzman at 3:09 PM on January 14, 2009


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posted by ob at 3:14 PM on January 14, 2009


.........................................................................................!
posted by crossoverman at 3:21 PM on January 14, 2009


He also played the voice of Mr. Cow in this episode of Family Guy.
posted by Effigy2000 at 3:21 PM on January 14, 2009


Aw well..............What the hell.


KHAAAAAAAAN!!!

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posted by spirit72 at 3:23 PM on January 14, 2009


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posted by cerebus19 at 3:29 PM on January 14, 2009


You Khaaaan't, You Won't And You Don't Stop
Montalban Rocking The Sure Shot
posted by Artw at 3:29 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Lousy human bastard!" is the new Khaaan!
posted by steef at 3:30 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


I remember the moment when my older brother and I realized that the guy I liked in old timey MGM movies and the guy he liked as Khan were the same person. It's the day we became friends. Or at least called a truce for a few hours.

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posted by spec80 at 3:32 PM on January 14, 2009


A great anecdote about Mr. Montalban from the king of great showbiz anecdotes, Mark Evanier. Apparently, he was a real peach of a guy.
posted by Atom Eyes at 3:36 PM on January 14, 2009 [4 favorites]


If you look up "suave" in the dictionary you'll see a photo of Ricardo Montalban.

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posted by bwg at 3:36 PM on January 14, 2009


I remember a course, Star Trek and the Humanties, and how one of the hot topics was whether that was really Ricardo Montalban's chest or not. The guy was in serious shape.

Oh Khan, I will miss you.

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posted by jadepearl at 3:43 PM on January 14, 2009


Loved him in the Naked Gun movies.
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posted by porn in the woods at 3:45 PM on January 14, 2009


Mr. Montalban was always one of my favorite actors. Completely committed to every word and every expression. He had a fine and long career (with both critical and popular successes) and was respected and (according to reports both here and elsewhere) was loved by almost everyone who worked with him. Indeed, more than many folks who receive this label, Mr. Montalban was a role model for performers everywhere.

Well done, Mr. Montalaban. Your life deserves a standing ovation. Rest well.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:49 PM on January 14, 2009


A true I-KHAAAAN.
posted by stargell at 3:51 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Lousy human bastard!" is the new Khaaan!

Forgot all about that one. Thanks!
posted by stargell at 3:52 PM on January 14, 2009


Ricardo, usted es el más macho de todos, en paz descanse.
posted by sfts2 at 3:53 PM on January 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


dang

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posted by briank at 3:53 PM on January 14, 2009


It's actually "soft Corinthian leather." Not fine or rich.
posted by Stylus Happenstance at 3:57 PM on January 14, 2009


And now I'm reminded that he was in Battleground, one of my all-time favorites.
posted by stargell at 3:58 PM on January 14, 2009


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posted by Tacodog at 3:59 PM on January 14, 2009


It's actually "soft Corinthian leather." Not fine or rich.

That ad refers to Cordoba as "a small Chrysler." Thing's the size of an M1 Abrams.
posted by stargell at 4:00 PM on January 14, 2009


I remember a course, Star Trek and the Humanties, and how one of the hot topics was whether that was really Ricardo Montalban's chest or not.

It's real, and it's spectacular.

I don't actually know if it's real, nor do I care.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:02 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Something involving, I dunno, an island.

Oh, god. My brain is picturing a sixties version of Lost with McGoohan as Jack and Montalban as Ben. Lee Meriwether plays Kate. It's fantastic.
posted by EarBucket at 4:24 PM on January 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


Damn, I just perused his wiki article yesterday. How odd.

RIP, Khan.
posted by notsnot at 4:34 PM on January 14, 2009


Montalban and McGoohand, to my knowledge, never co-starred in anything.

The Oracle knows all...

Patrick McGoohan was in Treasure Planet (2002) with Austin Majors
Austin Majors was in Ant Bully, The (2006) with Ricardo Montalban
posted by Joe Beese at 4:35 PM on January 14, 2009


He was 61 when he reprised the role of Khan in the movie.

Thanks Ricardo, for showing that us that age is just a number.

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posted by djrock3k at 4:37 PM on January 14, 2009


Still, old friend...

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posted by Tesseractive at 4:52 PM on January 14, 2009


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posted by papafrita at 5:03 PM on January 14, 2009


awwwh. I grew up with such a crush on Ricardo.

*sniff*
posted by dejah420 at 5:16 PM on January 14, 2009


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posted by Smart Dalek at 5:19 PM on January 14, 2009


"I'll chase him round the moons of Nibia and round the Antares maelstrom and round perdition's flames before I give him up!" (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)

Strangely I sent that to a friend this morning as a geeky Moby Dick quote pointing out an obsession I have, my own White Whale. Now I'm a bit freaked out.

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posted by zengargoyle at 5:29 PM on January 14, 2009


Adiós, Sr. Montalbán. Gracias por todo. Viajar con seguridad.

This day SUCKS.

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posted by perilous at 6:02 PM on January 14, 2009


No one has ever made automotive upholstery so sexy.

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posted by jonp72 at 6:03 PM on January 14, 2009


Big part of my childhood. Loved him in "The Naked Gun" too. No one else could have pulled off the line, "You forget I spent two years as a building contractor," with such stylish urgency.

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posted by raysmj at 6:09 PM on January 14, 2009


Ricardo MontalBAAAAAAAAHN!

I liked that story about the comedy sketch. I always assumed he WAS an asshole for some reason. I guess because he did a great job making Kahn conceited and self-centered and I'm an idiot.
posted by DU at 6:09 PM on January 14, 2009


Mr. M., at the earliest stage of his career in Hollywood, had a fine role as a Latino paratrooper in the first WWII movie made after the War: Battleground (1949). This film, a fictionalized but gripping account of the Battle of the Bulge, was an Oscar winner directed by the great William Wellman.

And who can forget Mr. M's star turn as Armando Guitierrez in . . . Freakazoid!

Vaya con dios, gentilhombre.
posted by rdone at 6:21 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Boss! The Ethereal Plane!
posted by Johnny Porno at 6:36 PM on January 14, 2009


I grow fatigued.
posted by digsrus at 6:50 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Quien es mas macho? Fernando Llamas o Montalban?

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posted by electroboy at 7:19 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Don't know if anyone remembers but he was an entertaining guest on The Tonight Show. He seemed genuinely nice.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 7:21 PM on January 14, 2009


He was my favorite villain on Freakazoid, and uttered one of my favorite lines from that show. "Revenge is a dish best served with pinto beans and muffins."

It doesn't really work when written down. But when he says it, at the time he says it... Great.

He'll always be Khan first and foremost in my mind (iconic!)... But that line keeps coming out of his mouth instead of any of Khan's.
posted by sparkletone at 7:24 PM on January 14, 2009


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posted by exlotuseater at 7:38 PM on January 14, 2009


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posted by zippy at 7:39 PM on January 14, 2009


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posted by Durn Bronzefist at 7:50 PM on January 14, 2009


I will always remember him on my favorite cartoon of all time, Freakazoid "What does that mean, 'Meow?'" - Ricardo Montalban as Armando Guitierrez on Freakazoid

Sucks to have such both great actors die on the same day together, gonna miss em.
posted by Del Far at 8:04 PM on January 14, 2009


Holy crap, that Chrysler Cordoba ad... I just realized that the Futurama episode where Amy buys a new car, that salesman was totally referring to that ad! Fucking brilliant.

Also, Montalban, what a class act.

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posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:05 PM on January 14, 2009


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posted by jammy at 8:29 PM on January 14, 2009


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posted by wrapper at 8:46 PM on January 14, 2009


Montalban was the definition of a swarthy, scene-chewing legend on the screen, large OR small. Man, today SUCKS for losing cool male cult figures.

I'm going to pretend he and Herve Villechaize are off having surreal adventures and trying on white suits together now.

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posted by Unicorn on the cob at 8:48 PM on January 14, 2009


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If it weren't for Metafilter, I'd never hear of the deaths of all of these classic personalities. Is anyone left? Just Phyllis Diller?
posted by Mael Oui at 8:52 PM on January 14, 2009


The Loft Cinema is showing Wrath of Khan on Friday and Saturday, and I was planning to see it anyway, but now there is a more commerative reason.

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posted by Snyder at 9:20 PM on January 14, 2009


The most memorable episode of Fantasy Island (which came on right after Love Boat) for me was the one where Satan appeared. The hula dancers are on the tarmac, people are getting off the plane, receiving their coconut shell drinks and leis, Tattoo is asking Mr. Roarke who each person is, and Mr. Roarke explains who each person is, and what their fantasies are. You know the drill.

Then this guy wearing a suit just like Mr. Roarke's - only it's black! with a white tie! - steps off. When Tattoo asks, "Who's that, Boss?" Mr. Roarke calmly replies, "Why, that's Satan, Tattoo." Tattoo and I are both surprised, and Tattoo naturally asks, "Why is he here?" Mr. Roarke, his gaze on the devil's with steely determination, replies, "He's here for me."

I don't have to tell you it was one dramatic episode. Satan naturally lost to Mr. Roarke, and if he could beat him once, I'm sure he'd be able to beat him again if he had to.

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posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:00 AM on January 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


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posted by slimepuppy at 1:30 AM on January 15, 2009


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posted by Faint of Butt at 3:36 AM on January 15, 2009


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posted by Shoggoth at 5:32 AM on January 15, 2009


He also endorsed "nativity stones".

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posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 6:27 AM on January 15, 2009


Weird. I hadn't even heard the news last night, but for some reason I simply *had* to listen to "Battle in the Mutara Nebula" when I got home from work. (And of *course* I had to plow through all of AMC's Prisoner episodes a few days ago.)

Sorry, Messrs. Montalban and McGoohan. (Hmmm, maybe I should go see Valkyrie after all . . .)
posted by whuppy at 6:31 AM on January 15, 2009


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(pours out a glass of Romulan ale)
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:43 AM on January 15, 2009


and, to a younger generation, as the grandfather in Spy Kids

Or perhaps as Señor Senior, Sr. on Kim Possible.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:44 AM on January 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


jadepearl: When I first saw Wrath of Khan, I thought, "Wow! He's in great shape for an old guy!" Then I found out about the "life-like plastic molded chest", and was disappointed. Are you telling us now, that it really was his? Then I'm back to "wow".

Oh, and...

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posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 7:16 AM on January 15, 2009


He was one of those people who it is a pleasure just to listen to them talk. Soothing, cultured, melifluous.
I am sad that he is dead. But I am glad we are in a time now where all his good work is preserved and can be enjoyed over and over again.
posted by sandraregina at 7:56 AM on January 15, 2009


I was able to find a video of Ricardo Montalban and Esther Williams singing "Baby, It's Cold Outside" from the movie Neptune's Daughter. Much bouncier than most of the dirge-like covers since then. Enjoy.
posted by schleppo at 8:14 AM on January 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


I should note that the video also contains Red Skelton and Betty Garrett singing their rendition as well.
posted by schleppo at 8:17 AM on January 15, 2009


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and

(and that Villechaize was...not. i concur. my brother was once a patient in the same hospital as Villechaize but on a different floor. He heard from staff that Villechaize suffered from acute paranoia, believing people were out to kill him, etc. and made life hell for the nurses, among other things. Rather mentally unbalanced, to put it politely, and not a nice man.)
posted by kuppajava at 8:28 AM on January 15, 2009


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posted by LakesideOrion at 9:42 AM on January 15, 2009


Slchleppo, thanks for finding the working video, I'm glad I got to see that. Both of them.
posted by BoscosMom at 11:03 AM on January 15, 2009


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posted by kjh at 1:36 PM on January 15, 2009


"This is Ricardo Montalban for the state of New Mexico..." Anyone else listen to these spots as they drove along I40? Hearing that voice talk about the area, its history and peoples back in the late '80s remains a very vivid memory for me for some reason. I did a cross-country drive out of university, and that was perhaps my favourite stretch; almost made me want to live there, and that voice definitely played a part in that feeling. The incredibly crass commercialization of Arizona which immediately followed was a bracing chaser.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 7:02 AM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


In his memory, Google search results for "KH(Ax)N" for x=1 to 100. (via Waxy)
posted by yellowbinder at 12:47 PM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


To ObscureReferenceMan -- yep, that was his real chest. It seems that he suffered a back injury early in life and to cut down on the pain he had a strenous weight lifting program to build his musculature to handle the injury so that was his real chest.
posted by jadepearl at 1:16 PM on January 16, 2009




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