Thursday, January 15, 2009

Ricardo Montalban

When I worked in Hollywood I had the pleasure to meet many of the stars. It happened because my work as a talent took me to places they were, and if I put all the names together, at or near the top of the heap would be the few minutes I spoke with Ricardo Montalban.

There in that flaming, rushing mass of importance and hurry, the film capital of the world, I found a moment of calm. We were in Bell Sound Recording Studio passing in a hallway and I had only to lift my eyes and pause to give that look that people do when they look into the face of a star. They can read that look of recognition in your eyes for they’ve seen it a million times.

“Ricardo Montalban,” he said as he offered his hand in greeting.

“Of, course, Mr. Montalban. How do you do. It is a pleasure,” I said. “You’re doing some work here?”

“Yes, for Cordoba, actually it is pronounced Cordo ‘ba, but they want me to say Cor’doba.”

That’s the only particular I recall of the few minutes I spoke with the intelligent, well-spoken man in the hall before one of us was called in to work. There was more, because I remember going home and telling my wife who I saw today, related our brief exchange and what a gentleman he was. So more than the words, I am left with the indelible impression that he was everything you’d want or expect Ricardo Montalban to be, and I want to repeat, he was a gentleman.

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