May 29, 2013
Ricardo Montalban: What Happened to the Hispanic Beefcake
Cristian Letelier, was buffed, too. And he had a gay-vague sidekick played by Judson Scott. Gay favorites Ike Eisenmann and Merrit Butrick costarred.
In between, Ricardo Montalban played the mysterious, probably supernatural Mr. Roarke, who managed the wish-fulfillment Fantasy Island (1977-84) that our parents or, more likely, our grandparents watched. Most wishes were about finding heterosexual loves.
But those parts are only two of the highlights of a 60 year career.
I haven't seen many of Montalban's 160+ movies and tv shows, but I did note the buddy-bonding Joe Panther (1976), in which Turtle George (Montalban) mentors a young Seminole Indian (Ray Tracey).
In Captains Courageous (1977), he played the noble Portuguese fisherman Manuel, who mentors rich kid Harvey (Jonathan Kan).
He played gay villain Victor Ludwig in The Naked Gun (1988), who doesn't hit on his secretary because he "likes German boys," whatever that means.
More recently, he was playing parodies of himself, such as Senor Senor Senior on Kim Possible and a Hispanic cow on Family Guy.