A double loss for cinema: Montalban and McGoohan

Via Pharyngula, we learn that the last two days resulted in the loss of two of entertainment’s coolest actors: Patrick McGoohan died on Tuesday, while Ricardo Montalban died on Wednesday.

It is strangely appropriate for their deaths to more or less coincide, because McGoohan and Montalban were both well-known for the larger than life characters they played.  Patrick McGoohan became a cult celebrity for his role as Number Six in the classic television series The Prisoner (not to mention his major role in developing the series as a whole), while Montalban achieved fame/infamy for his role as Captain Kirk’s nemesis, Khan Noonien Singh, in both the original Star Trek episode Space Seed as well as the film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

It is worth mentioning that both actors had extensive careers which went beyond the iconic roles mentioned above (McGoohan would have been particularly irked to be seen solely as Number Six).  A few roles that struck me: McGoohan played another secret agent in the British spy series Danger Man, and had major roles in Ice Station Zebra, Escape From Alcatraz, Braveheart, and Silver Streak.  Montalban was the star of the unusual television series Fantasy Island, and did a wonderful job as the villain in the comedy The Naked Gun.

If the passing of any actor makes me think a bit more about my own mortality, it is the passing of these two.  Both played larger than life characters who, it seemed, would go on forever.  It’s hard to imagine that Number Six and Mister Roarke aren’t immortal!

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7 Responses to A double loss for cinema: Montalban and McGoohan

  1. Babs67 aka the fiancee says:

    I am going to have to respectfully disagree with you on what Ricardo Montalban achieved his fame for. I think most people you ask would remember him as Mr. Rourke in his white suit. Maybe you are too young or your dad wouldn’t let you stay up late on Saturday night to watch him on Fantasy Island, but in my mind, he will always be pulling up to the dock in his golf cart after Tattoo alerted him to “Da Plane! Da Plane!”.

    • Babs67 wrote: “Maybe you are too young or your dad wouldn’t let you stay up late on Saturday night to watch him on Fantasy Island…”

      Ahem. No, I watched Fantasy Island, too — I’m not that young! I guess I should say that, amongst bloggers who like sci-fi, he will be best remembered as ‘Khan’!

  2. Becky says:

    “This is a very…dreamy…party…”

    Poor Number 6. But he lived a long and successful life. The many obits over the last few days revived many fun memories of life watching The Prisoner on the 5th floor of Chamberlin House.

    I still don’t get the last episode though 🙂

    Ricardo Montalban will always be Mr. Rourke to me, but I hold a very soft spot for him playing Kahn, as ST2 was such a ham fest between him and Shatner. But how could you fail to mention this fine piece of work from Mr. Montalban?

    • Becky: Thanks for the link! It didn’t even occur to me that the Cordoba commercial would be on YouTube! I guess I should revise my post to refer to that as Montalban’s greatest work: making “soft, Corinthian leather” sound so suave!

      PD: I thought more or less exactly the same thing! “Small” Chrysler? Is the Queen Mary an example of a “big” Chrysler, then?

  3. To Becky:

    Thanks for the link to Montalban’s Cordoba commercial. My favorite bit was the tag line for the car: “The Small Chrysler.”

    Small? SMALL?!?!? It’s like a schooner on wheels!

  4. Babs67 aka the fiancee says:

    Honey, you are a nerd aka a “blogger(s) who likes sci-fi”. But I still love you.

    Becky and PD – as a marketing person, I am fascinated that commercials used to be a full minute long – sometimes more! Now they are never more than 30 seconds. Watching that entire commercial compared to today’s commercials felt like I was sitting through a full-length movie!

  5. Becky says:

    Unfortunately, the length of the commercial only showcases the terrible build-quality of the car. I just love how it shakes and bounces along those mountain roads…

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