Thursday, January 15, AD 2009
Ricardo Montalban, may you now be enjoying the Beatific Vision. First the unimportant stuff. Montalban was an actor of immense talent.
Although best known for Fantasy Island, and his stunning performance in The Wrath of Khan where he single-handedly saved the Star Trek film franchise, he worked from 1942-2008 as an actor and always did a superb professional job. He was a familiar figure also in commercials, probably most memorably with his line “rich corinthian leather” for Chrysler in the 70’s which was an inside gag since the term was merely a marketing ploy to describe the leather in the cars.
Now on to the important stuff. Montalban was a devout Catholic. His contributions to the Church were recognized by the Vatican in 1998 when he was made a knight of the Order of Saint Gregory the Great. In an industry where adultery and divorce are practically a job requirement, Montalban and his one and only wife were married for 63 years until her death in 2007.
In regard to his Faith I will give the last word to the unforgettable Mr. Montalban: “I found enormous opposition to my religion. It’s like if you want to strengthen your biceps, you lift heavy weight, as heavy as you can handle, and work your muscles against resistance until it grows strong. I had to do that with my religion.”