In 2009, we had to say farewell to Ricardo Gonzalo Pedro Montalbán y Merino, aka Khan. Montalbán was a prolific actor that made an indelible mark in Hollywood. A native Mexican, he moved to Hollywood in 1943 to pursue acting. After refusing to change his name to a more American Ricky Martin, he went on to play various ethnic characters including a Native American, a couple of Japanese men, and a French duke.
In 1975, he started touting the wonders of "soft Corinthian leather" in the Chrysler Cordoba and in 1977 landed the leading role on Fantasy Island. In 1981, Montalbán accepted the role of Khan Noonien Singh on Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan at a reduced salary because he was excited to reprise his role as the genetically engineered superhuman. He went on to act in films like Cannonball Run II, The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! and two Spy Kids movie in a role written just for him.
He passed away at the age of 88 from advance age and congenital heart failure.
On a personal note, not getting the chance to meet him and DeForest Kelley are among my regrets.