Ricardo Montalban died this morning. He was 88. Most people knew him from Fantasy Island or The Wrath of Khan, and I never saw the former and enjoyed the latter, but I really knew him for Leslie Nielsen’s The Naked Gun, which I watched over and over again when I was in high school (“I think anyone…can be anassasseen”). Fantastic slapstic and mildly absurdist humor. And OJ Simpson’s in it to boot. Good stuff.
Anyway he’s dead. There’s an obit in the New York Times today for him. One line bothers me, though; a quote from his friend and publicist David Brokaw:
the actor was ”exactly how you’d imagine him to be” off camera. ”What you saw on the screen and on television and on talk shows, this very courtly, modest, dignified individual, that’s exactly who he was,”
I think that sorta sucks. I mean, yay for being courtly and modest and dignified, all fantastic qualities, but really? He was exactly who you’d imagine him to be? I much prefer regular surprises when I’m finding out who a person is, rather than for them to be exactly how I’d expect. Much more interesting that way.
Anyway, it’s sad when people die, moreso when you have some emotional connection to them or their works. I accept death’s inevitability more than most people, and I had some mild emotional connection to some of Montalban’s work. Hope his kith and kin are managing as well as they can.