What ever happened to Ricardo Montalban?
Fantasy Island may have closed its port in 1984, but Ricardo Montalban carried on his refined tycoon image for years afterward. The Mexican native played a Machiavellian businessman on Dynasty II: The Colbys in 1985, spoofed an upscale crime boss in 1988’s The Naked Gun, and touted ”fine Corinthian leather” in Chrysler ads. But a 1993 spinal hemorrhage limited the actor’s ability to walk — or work. (Aaron Spelling did, however, cast him in 1994’s Heaven Help Us as an always-seated angel.) Now 76, Montalban lives in the Hollywood Hills with his wife of 52 years, Georgiana. He recently settled a seven-year, $10 million lawsuit against Columbia Pictures over Island profits. Though he made 40-plus films (Sweet Charity, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan), Island ”was the single most difficult job of my career,” Montalban has said. ”Ninety-nine percent of my dialogue was exposition, and only actors appreciate how difficult that is.” Even fantasies, it seems, require hard work.