Actor. Born in Mexico City, Mexico the son of Spanish immigrants, he and his brother moved to America as a high school students, attending Fairfax High School in Los Angeles. By his senior year he was proficient enough in English to play the lead in the school's production of "Tovarich." He returned to Mexico after school, where he established himself in character roles, eventually becoming a leading man in films such as "La Fuga" and "Nosotros." He married Georgiana Young in 1944, the youngest half-sister of actress Loretta Young who gave him frequent roles on her anthology series, "Letter to Loretta." Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer talent scouts caught his performances and he was offered a contract in 1946. He was cast in the lead opposite Esther Williams in "Fiesta" in 1947 and again in "On an Island with You" in 1948 and "Neptune's Daughter" in 1949. That same year he broke from the Latin Lover mold and appeared in "Battleground." He worked steadily through the 1950s despite a near crippling riding accident he suffered while filming "Across the Wide Missouri" in 1951, and through the 1960s appearing in such films as "Cheyenne Autumn" in 1964, "The Singing Nun" in 1966, "Sweet Charity" in 1969, and guest roles on television in such series as "The Man From U.N.C.L.E," The Wild, Wild West, "Star Trek," and "It Takes a Thief." In 1971 and 1972 he appeared in twin sequels to the popular Planet of the Apes franchise as well as numerous guest roles on television. By 1977 he was offered the lead in a television movie called "Fantasy Island." He followed that success with an Emmy winning performance in "How the West Was Won" in 1978, only to reprise his "Fantasy Island" role of Mr Roarke in that year's "Return to Fantasy Island which spawned a series that ran until 1984. In 1982, he was invited to reprise his role of the villain Khan in "Star Trek: The Wrath of Kahn" which he agreed to do for a minimal fee as he so loved the part, as well as portraying the villain in 1988's "The Naked Gun:From the Files of Police Squad." The spinal injury that had troubled him since 1951 grew more painful as he grew older, and in 1993 he underwent surgery which unfortunately resulted in making the pain worse. He continued to work, however, usually from a wheelchair. In 1998 he was created Knight, Pontifical Order of St. Gregory the Great by the Bishop of Los Angeles, an award granted to people of unblemished character who have contributed to society. Among his later roles were Grandfather Cortez in the "Spy Kids" series of films, and provided the voices for the Council Chairman in the feature film "The Ant Bully" in 2006 and Señor Senior Sr. on the animated television series, "Kim Possible." His Ricardo Montalbán Foundation restored and opened a Beaux Arts theater in Hollywood and it is now the Ricardo Montalbán Theater. His wife of 63 years passed in November 2007, and he followed fourteen months later from what was described by his family as complications of advancing age.
Bio by: Iola
Husband & Father