Two Classic Scifi Actors Pass Away

Posted: January 15, 2009 in Scifi
Tags: , , , , , , ,

While I’ve been busy with the enormous amount of library and school work, there is still a world around me that I sometimes forget. This is not done on purpose but there is simply not enough time or energy to spend as much as I would like on my blog and podcast. However, there comes a time where everything must come to a stop and one must reflect on what had just happened. Last year, we lost Majel Barret Roddenberry. This week, we lost two more greats – Ricardo Montalbán and Patrick McGoohan.




I can not say that I am heart broken over their death but rather sadden over the loss. Ricardo was the type of actor who really transcended his heritage and could be seen as a brilliant actor. From the suave Mr. Rouke from Fantasy Island to best scifi villain Khan from Star Trek’s Space Seed and Star Trek II, has a great body of work that everyone can enjoy.

As for Patrick, I had only recently watched the first couple of episodes of The Prisoner. Right off the bat, I fell in love with this series for its strangeness and mysterious allure. Even more, Patrick was the man who did not want to know as just a number and fought to keep his identity as a human being. I am now eager to finish this series in honor of this actor.

I am going to post a partial entry from Cinema Viewfinder which David did an excellent job summarizing their careers.

Notoriously difficult but ultimately rewarding as an actor, Patrick McGoohan didn’t just perform in front of the lens, he ferociously confronted it. One always got the sense that he was haunted by some powerful demons that only his oft-hooded eyes kept at bay. But they would rear their head from time to time in explosive and dynamic bursts that would pepper most of his performances.

Most famous for his cult TV series, The Prisoner, McGoohan had a bit of the auteur streak in him, not just producing the series, but often writing and directing some of its episodes under various pseudonyms. A devoted Catholic, he was also famously demanding of his bosses, strictly forbidding his Danger Man/Secret Agent character John Drake from carrying a gun or getting involved with women casually.

In his career he was surprisingly eccentric, turning down roles that could have brought him greater acclaim such as James Bond of the 007 series, Gandalf of The Lord of the Rings series, and Dumbledore of the Harry Potter series.

 Click here to read the rest of David’s entry.

  1. dave says:

    I think Zack Handlen’s obit at the AV Club captured the essence of The Prisoner-

    “At its heart, The Prisoner is about the ways in which society seeks to crush and compromise the individual, to force people into blind acceptance so that the trains run on time, the clocks are always set, and faces are forever smiling. Out of all his movie and TV work, it’s here that McGoohan’s fury finds its true purpose. His is the passion of anyone who’s ever been told to fit in, to quiet down, to agree more, to listen less, to know one’s place, to never question it. For once, we aren’t the target of his anger, we share it. For all the outcasts, here is someone who wouldn’t compromise how nicely he was asked to.”

    My favorite Montalban role was as Armando the circus owner with a heart of gold in Conquest of the Planet of the Apes.


  2. El Santo says:

    Awesome picture of Montalban there. I imagine that’s how Khan spent his days before Chekhov and that science team showed up. Utter misery for the most part, but hell, toy robot!

    That said, when Montalban died, I had strongly considered calling up my wife and telling the bad news. I stopped myself and said, “Naw, that’s stupid. Why bother her over a celebrity death?”

    Then it turns out she decided to call me with the news. That’s how much we liked the guy.


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