Yesterday I was saddened to hear that the fine actor of Mexican heritage (pictured here) Ricardo Montalban passed away at age 88. When I told some people about it at work, some remarked they were too young to know who he was, but actually even if you never saw him in the role he is best remembered by in the TV show Fantasy Island, (the plane! the plane!) some will always remember him for his role as genetic superman Khan Noonien Singh from the Star Trek episode “Space Seed.”
Montalban was also in several of the Planet of the Apes movies but he reprised his roles as Khan in the 1982 film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan which many sci fi aficionados (including myself) consider the best Star Trek movie and one of the finest (if not the very best) sci fi flick of all time.
It’s hard to imagine the Trek franchise without recalling what a fantastic job Montalban did as Khan in both the TV show and especially the movie. His tactical battle against Admiral James T. Kirk (he was promoted to Admiral by the time this movie was made but demoted again to the rank of Captain later) and some of the best dialogue in the film make this a memorable experience, not to mention the fact it was also Kirstie Allie’s cinematic debut.
What’s not to love? Kirstie Allie as a Vulcan starfleet officer, (“You go right on quoting regulations”), the Genesis device, and the death of Spock. This movie has it all including some of the very best action in all the Star Trek movie sequels.
By the way here’s my favorite scene of the entire film: