Ricardo Montalbán facts for kids

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Ricardo Montalban in Fiesta trailer
Ricardo Montalban from the trailer for the film Fiesta, 1947

Ricardo Gonzalo Pedro Montalbán y Merino, KSG (/[unsupported input]ˌmɒntəlˈbɑːn/; Spanish pronunciation: [montalˈβan]; November 25, 1920 – January 14, 2009) was a Mexican radio, television, theatre and movie actor. He had a career spanning seven decades (motion pictures from 1943 to 2006) and many notable roles.

During the mid-1970s, Montalbán was notable as the spokesman in automobile advertisements for the Chrysler Cordoba, in which he famously extolled the "soft Corinthian leather" used for its interior. He also advertised the Chrysler New Yorker.

From 1977 to 1984, he became famous as Mr. Roarke the main star in the television series Fantasy Island. He played Khan Noonien Singh in both the 1967 episode "Space Seed" of the first season of the original Star Trek series, and the 1982 film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

He won an Emmy Award in 1978 for his role in the miniseries How the West Was Won and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Screen Actors Guild in 1993. Into his 80s, he continued to perform, often providing voices for animated films and commercials, and appearing in several Spy Kids films as "Grandfather Valentin".

Montalbán was born in Mexico City, Mexico on November 25, 1920. He grew up in the city of Torreón, the son of Spanish immigrants Ricarda Merino and Jenaro Montalbán, a store manager. He has been married to Georgiana Belzer from 1944 until her death in 2007. They had four children.

Montalbán died from heart failure in his Los Angeles, California home on January 14, 2009, aged 88.

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