Ricardo Montalban passed away Wednesday, January 14, at the age of 88. Lorenza Muñoz has written a fine obituary and career overview for the L.A. Times, accompanied by a fantastic photo gallery. Claire Dederer and Bruce Weber have done the honors for the New York Times. Both obits acknowledge Montalban's contributions to stage and screen, as well as the opportunities created for Latinos by way of his activism. His performance in the film noir classic Border Incident remains one of my all-time favorites as, of course, is his characterization of Khan Noonien Singh, arch nemesis to Star Trek's Captain Kirk.
Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will dedicate the entire daytime lineup for Friday, January 23, 2009 to pay tribute to Montalban. The collection features musical pairings with Esther Williams in Fiesta (1947) and Neptune's Daughter (1949), as well as dramatic roles in Border Incident (1949) and Battleground (1949).
The following is the complete schedule for TCM's January 23 tribute to Ricardo Montalban (PT):
4:30AM Fiesta (1947)—In his first leading role, Montalban plays a young man whose parents want him to become a toreador, but he is more interested in music. Esther Williams and Cyd Charisse also star in this musical shot on location in Mexico.
6:30AM Neptune's Daughter (1949)—Once again teaming with Esther Williams, Montalban plays a millionaire playboy trying to win the affections of a bathing suit designer. This colorful musical features the Oscar®-winning song "Baby, It's Cold Outside."
8:15AM Latin Lovers (1953)—Montalban vies for the affections of a wealthy heiress played by Lana Turner in this lush, tropical musical directed by Mervyn LeRoy.
10:00AM Border Incident (1949)—This early look at the issue of illegal immigration features Montalban and George Murphy in a tense story of agents out to stop a ring smuggling Mexicans across the border.
11:30AM Battleground (1949)—Montalban gives an outstanding performance as a Mexican-American soldier fighting in Germany during the Battle of the Bulge. Van Johnson and John Hodiak co-star.
1:30PM Across the Wide Missouri (1951)—In this pioneer epic starring Clark Gable, Montalban plays a young Indian war chief out to prevent a band of pioneers from reaching their destination. John Hodiak co-stars.
3:00PM The Singing Nun (1966)—In this true story, Montalban plays a warm-hearted priest who helps a guitar-strumming Belgian nun spread her music to the world. Debbie Reynolds stars, along with Greer Garson, Agnes Moorehead and Chad Everett.
Cross-published on Twitch.