Ricardo Montalban, born in Mexico City in 1920 to Spanish immigrants, has died at his Los Angeles home at the age of 88. Known to most people as Mr. Rourke, the suave iconic majordomo of Fantasy Island, a popular TV show from 1978 – 1984, he was revered by his peers as a fine actor and great person.
Although he moved to Los Angeles from Mexico at the age of 16, the handsome Montalban was a rising movie star in Mexico early in his career, but was soon offered a movie role in Hollywood, where he went on to star in numerous films as one of the only Latinos in tinsel town. In 1970 he started a non-profit organization, Nosotros Foundation, to help other Latinos get roles and to improve the Latin image. After movie and tv role offers started to dry up, Ricardo starred in many commercials, most notably for Chrysler Cordoba, where he touted the car’s “Corinthian leather”. He was one smooth dude.