Mexico-born actor Ricardo Montalban – better known as both Star Trek‘s Khan Noonien Singh and Fantasy Island‘s Mr. Roarke – passed away today in his home at the age of 88.
Montalban’s passing was announced at a meeting of the Los Angeles City Council by President Eric Garcetti, the representative for the district in which Montalban lived. No cause of death was given, but given that the man was almost 90 years old, I don’t think it’s too early to rule out simple “old age” as a factor.
Geeks and nerds may best remember Montalban for his role as genetically-altered superman antagonist Khan Noonien Singh in an episode of Star Trek: The Original Series, which he reprised as the eponymous villain in the film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. However, to everyone else, Montalban is probably most well-known for his work on Fantasy Island, where he played Mr. Roarke, the owner of a tropical island resort where people went to make their lifelong dreams come true.
Sadly, we never got a crossover between the franchises where Kirk, Spock, and Bones took “da plane” to the island, only to have Mr. Roarke try and exact revenge for marooning him in deep space.