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For Montalban, a Life of 'Fantasy' Comes to an End

Actor Ricardo Montalban, who died at 88 today in Los Angeles, will be remembered for a number of roles -- though fans may disagree about which defined him.

For some, it will be that of Khan in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan, which allowed him to utter the line "It is very cold ... in space."

As a Chrysler pitchman, he became synonymous with the phrase "Corinthian leather."

And as Mr. Roarke on Fantasy Island, he was given the task of making people's dreams come true and the line "He who works in a candy store has no desire for sweets."

A real triple threat, Montalban could dance and sing as well as act. In the late 1950s he appeared on Broadway in Jamaica alongside Lena Horne.

By Washington Post Editors  |  January 14, 2009; 4:28 PM ET
Categories:  Movies  
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KAHN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Has passed on, truly a sad day.

Posted by: bigceedee | January 14, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Ironically, just this week, I saw him in a starring role in the first season episode "Snowball In Hell" of the original TV series Mission: Impossible. Sadly, it is a role that seems to have been all but forgotten in his biography.

It is highly recommended if you are a Ricardo Montalban fan. The similarities of the character, and his demise, to Khan some twenty years before the movie are striking.

Posted by: bmilano | January 14, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

The body will be placed in a casket filled with "rich corinthian leather" for comfort & style, on the journey to the great beyond.

Posted by: Robbnitafl | January 15, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

I still have a Corinthian Leather jacket. It is nice. Khan was great in 1967 and again 20 yrs later. And now Tatoo and Boss will be together again in that fantasy called heaven. RIP

Posted by: JoePantes | January 16, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

The Chrysler Cordoba with Corinthian leather was my first new car (in black of course), and I enjoyed every moment I had it...often repeating Mr. Montalban's line when the car received compliments (with its T-Bar glass roof). My wife and I ordered it without ever seeing one in person or test driving it. That was one powersul commercial, at least with us. ;-)

Posted by: noffen | January 17, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

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