Classic Entertainment Autographs

Cat. #001731281: RICARDO MONTALBAN

Uncommonly early and one-of-a-kind 3.5 x 5.25-inch black and white candid snapshot portrait, taken following a Boston, Massachusetts, screening of 1962's Hemingway's Adventures of a Young Man, in which he played Major Padula, boldly signed and inscribed in black fountain pen in-person for an inveterate autograph hound: "To Jimmy, 'Padula' Ricardo Montalban." In good condition, with a minute tear to the bottom border, well away from the writing itself. Mexican-born leading man Ricardo Montalban was the epitome of continental elegance, reinvigorating the "Latin Lover" archetype invented by Rudolph Valentino and Ramon Novarro. After establishing himself in Spanish-language films, he was imported to Hollywood for the B-picture Fiesta (1947), after which he starred in a long string of MGM melodramas, wooing the likes of Cyd Charisse, Shelley Winters, Anne Bancroft, Pier Angeli, Laraine Day, Lana Turner, Arlene Dahl, and Esther Williams.  Ironically, his best work during this era was in other genres, including the thrillers Border Incident (1949) and Mystery Street (1950), the war pictures Battleground (1949) and Sayonara (1957), the boxing drama Right Cross (1950), the western Across the Wide Missouri (1951), and the religious classic The Reluctant Saint (1962). In 1967, Montalban played arch-villain Khan Noonien Singh on T.V.'s sci-fi series "Star Trek", a role he memorably resurrected in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan in 1982. Perhaps his greatest fame came with his portrayal of the urbane, white-suited concierge Mr. Roarke on "Fantasy Island" (1977-1984), so oddly teamed with pint-sized actor Herve Villechaize.