Ricardo Montalban Dead at 88
01.14.09 by REELZ
He tasks me. He tasks me and I shall have him! I'll chase him 'round the moons of Nibia and 'round the Antares Maelstrom and 'round Perdition's flames before I give him up!
Those are the immortal words of the greatest Star Trek villain ever -- the late great, Ricardo Montalban who has died at age 88.
As Khan Noonien Singh in the original 1967 Star Trek episode Space Seed, Montalban later reprised the role in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
His powerful performance as the genetically superior, but ruthlessly ambitious, Eugenics War despot provoked Kirk to voice the ultimate shout-out Kha-a-a-a-n!
Following the admittedly stodgy Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Wrath of Khan was the movie that really kick-started the Trek movie franchise due in large part to Montalban's rich performance.
I interviewed Montalban with William Shatner at a Pasadena Star Trek Con back in the mid-1990s and was surprised to learn that neither Shatner nor Montalban had any scenes together in Wrath of Khan. That's logical when you think about it since Kirk and Khan only spoke to each other via the Enterprise viewing screen.
Montalban was ever the courteous gentleman, the fans loved him, and he will be missed.
We end with one of Khan's delicious taunts to Kirk from Star Trek II:
Ah, Kirk, my old friend, do you know the Klingon proverb that tells us revenge is a dish that is best served cold? [pause] It is very cold in space.