Quien es mas macho?

I don’t usually do obits here, especially of people who die old, but as I’m neck deep in Star Trek and Planet of the Apes, it’s worth taking a moment to note that Ricardo Montalban has passed away.

His role in Star Trek is infamous – the genetically engineered superman Kahn Noonian Singh, the titular bad guy in the very best Trek film ever (and one of the best scifi films, period) as well as the villain in the original series episode The Space Seed. Less well known is his pivotal role in the Planet of the Apes films Escape From the Planet of the Apes and Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, where he played Armando, the circus owner and ape sympathizer whose death helps usher in a world where men are ruled by chimps, orangutans and gorillas.

Of course Montalban was a cultural icon beyond these two roles – everything from Fantasy Island to his shilling of ‘fine Corinthian leather’ to Battleground (one of my favorite WWII films, with a great turn from Montalban as a very young man) – but for me, and many of you reading this site, these are the roles that immediately spring to mind when you hear that name.

This is certainly going to make the eventual Star Trekkin’ entry for The Space Seed a little more bittersweet. But probably also ruthless. Sorry, Ricardo, I’m just like that.