Richardo Montalbán Dies At 88

Ricardo Montalbán, one of the first Mexican-born actors to rise to stardom in Hollywood, died Wednesday in Los Angeles at age 88 of what his son-in-law described as "complications related to old age." While Montalbán worked tirelessly on behalf of Latin-American cases -- he founded the nonprofit Nosotros Foundation aimed at improving the image of Latinos in Hollywood -- he himself never played a Mexican on screen. "A Spaniard, yes. An Argentinean, yes, a Brazilian, yes, but never a Mexican," he once remarked in an interview, noting that characters from those countries were considered more "exotic" to Hollywood filmmakers than Mexicans. (He once even played a Japanese Kabuki theater performer in 1957's Sayonara.) He also famously played "Mr. Roarke" on the long-running Fantasy Island and the title character in Star Trek The Wrath of Khan .



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