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Remembering Montalban and McGoohan on DVD

14 Jan, 2009 By: John Latchem

Ricardo Montalban

Hollywood said goodbye to a pair of legends this week with the deaths of veteran actors Patrick McGoohan and Ricardo Montalban.

Montalban, who died Jan. 14 at age 88, was born in Mexico City but became well-known to American audiences after a long and varied career in film and television that began in 1942.

His best-known role was as the enigmatic Mr. Roarke from 1978 to 1984 on “Fantasy Island.” The first season is available on DVD from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

He later appeared as the bad guy in 1988’s The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad (on DVD from Paramount Home Entertainment) and as the grandfather in the “Spy Kids” films (available from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment).

To science-fiction fans, Montalban will forever be immortalized as “Star Trek” villain Khan Noonien Singh, first appearing in the first-season original-series episode “Space Seed” (1967), and reprising his role for the 1982 big-screen sequel Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Both appearances are available on DVD from Paramount.

Montalban also played a key role in the “Planet of the Apes” films, playing Armando at the end of 1971’s Escape From the Planet of the Apes, the third film in the series, and carrying the role into 1972’s Conquest of the Planet of the Apes.

Irish actor McGoohan, who died Jan. 13 at age 80, rose to fame as the title character on the 1964-67 British TV series “Danger Man” (known as “Secret Agent” in America). But he is perhaps more famous for his role in the unofficial 1967-68 follow-up series “The Prisoner,” which has become a cult classic; a remake is reportedly in the works.

The entire runs of both shows are available on DVD from A&E.

American audiences also will remember McGoohan as King Edward I in 1995’s Braveheart (Paramount) and as a judge in 1996’s A Time to Kill, which Warner Home Video will re-release as part of the John Grisham Courtroom Collection Jan. 27.

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