Actor Ricardo Montalban dead at 88

Jan. 14, 2009 at 7:50 PM
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LOS ANGELES, Jan. 14 (UPI) -- Ricardo Montalban, a Mexican actor best known for his work on the iconic TV series "Fantasy Island," died Wednesday, said a Los Angeles city official.

Montalban's death was announced by City Council President Eric Garcetti, an official of the city where E! News said the actor lived and worked for more than six decades. No cause of death was immediately disclosed.

"This morning, Ricardo Montalban passed away at the age of 88 in his Doheny Estates home. Born in Mexico City, Mr. Montalban found great success in Hollywood as an actor, appearing in more than 80 movies and television shows," Garcetti said in a statement. "The Ricardo Montalban Theatre in my Council District -- where the next generations of performers participate in plays, musicals, and concerts -- stands as a fitting tribute to this consummate performer. My thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Montalban's family. He will certainly be missed."

In addition to his starring role on "Fantasy Island," Montalban's other professional accomplishments included winning an Emmy Award for his performance in the TV miniseries "How the West Was Won" and earning a Tony Award nod for his work in the Broadway musical, "Jamaica," said. He was honored with the Screen Actors Guild's lifetime achievement Award in 1994, as well.

Montalban also memorably co-starred in the movie "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan," lent his distinctive voice to a character in the animated series "Kim Possible" and appeared in episodes of "Bonanza," "Star Trek" and "Murder, She Wrote."

In his younger years, he shared the screen with Esther Williams in movies like "Fiesta," "On an Island with You" and "Neptune's Daughter," noted. said Montalban was predeceased by Georgiana Young, his wife of 63 years, in 2007. The couple had four children together.

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