Ricardo Montalban, born Ricardo Gonzalo Pedro Montalbán Merino, was born November 25, 1920 in Mexico City. Montalban landed his first starring role in the 1949 film, Border Incident
. After his career break, Montalban was cast in several more roles, typically as a leading Latin Lover, including starring roles in Sayonara
and Mystery Street
. During the late 1950s, Montalban starred on Broadway as Koli in the musical Jamaica
, a role in which he was nominated for a Tony Award.
In 1975, Montalban became the spokesman for the Chrysler Cordoba. His praising of the car's "soft Corinthian leather" upholstery led to the Cordoba being a successful model for Chrysler.
1978 brought Montalban the role he is most known for -- Mr. Roarke on Fantasy Island
, a role he played from 1978 to 1984. Following Fantasy Island
, Montalban starred as Khan Noonien Singh in the film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
, a film based on his guest star role in the Star Trek
episode "Space Seed
Following an on-set accident during the 1951 film Across the Wide Missouri
, Montalban has been confined to a wheelchair since 1993. However, Montalban continues to appear in films, television series, and has done voice work for commercials and animated films.