I have spent the last hour, or so, sitting in front of the tube, watching a biography on Ricardo Montalban. (I'm at home, sick....) And at the close of that episode, the image of him appears and soon to follow are the years of birth... and death! I didn't know, but he died Jan. 16, 2009 at the age of 88.
I LOVED Ricardo. Even as a child, I thought he was one of the most distinguished actors of our time. With that dark hair, sometimes even combed into a wave-do, which was popular for men in the 1960's and before, that rich voice of his (the accent... eh, not so much), and that body he kept toned all throughout his adult life, I thought he was ultra-male. Especially taking into consideration how handsome the guy was up into his sixties in his Fantasy Island days.
I remember a movie in particular, of which the name escapes me - thank you, Robitussin, that shows a dame in Ricardo's arms, and the frame is filled with him and the back of the lady's head. Before he locks his lips on her, the observers can't help but notice the man had a chest-full of hair, as it brimmed out and over his shirt. His arms were just as... if not more hairy. I tried to look for (steal) a representative photo on the net, but all I've been able to find are shots of him in full-sleeves..... or SHAVED!!! I suppose some of those Hollywood big-shots said, "Ricky... keep that beastly hair under control". (They were obviously straight, as most of the gay producers would've included such in as many shots as possible.)
Here's another great shot of Ricardo (shaven, mind you):
So today, my heart is kind of heavy. One of the very men that helped me to shape my formative concepts of manhood is gone. And I'm sure he's left a huge empty spot in the hearts of many others.
Good Night, Mr. Rourke. I hope you are resting easily now.
I almost forgot... I wanted to leave a link to a great website. Brian'sDrive-InTheatre is a treat for any movie buff. I've parroused the site for a few years, and thought I'd share it for anyone who's never been there before. There's loads of info on actors and actresses that many of us have long forgotten. Take a look!