Other Notable Deaths


January 15, 2009


Star of MGM musicals and TV's 'Fantasy Island'

Ricardo Montalban, the Mexican-born actor who became a star in splashy MGM musicals and later as the wish-fulfilling Mr. Roarke in TV's Fantasy Island, died yesterday at his Los Angeles home. No cause of death was given.

Mr. Montalban had been a star in Mexican movies when MGM brought him to Hollywood in 1946. He was cast in the leading role opposite Esther Williams in Fiesta and starred again with the swimming beauty in On an Island with You and Neptune's Daughter.

But Mr. Montalban was best-known as the faintly mysterious, white-suited Mr. Roarke, who presided over a tropical island resort where visitors were able to fulfill their lifelong dreams - usually at the unexpected expense of a difficult life lesson. The show ran from 1978 to 1984.

More recently, he appeared as villains in two hits of the 1980s: Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan and the farcical The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad.

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