Tag Archives: cool actors

Elizabeth Taylor (1932-2011)

I know there’s already tons of coverage out there today about the legendary life and loves of Dame Elizabeth Taylor, so, I’ll try and keep it brief and post some of my favorite pics of Taylor over the years instead.

I didn’t love all of her movies — I mean, seriously, have you ever tried sitting through “Cleopatra”? And don’t even get me started on “Giant” — but she is one of the rare stars who could make even a bad movie totally watchable. And when Taylor had great material to work with, man alive, she set that screen on fire!

“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”, “Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf?”, “Suddenly Last Summer”, “A Place in the Sun”, “National Velvet”, hell, she made awesome movies in just above every era she lived. And though Taylor stands right up there with the acting great, I have always been a bigger fan of the balls-out way she lived her life rather than her filmic output.

Taylor was famous for most of her life and though that might make some people weird or camera shy, she was anything but. Taylor was funny, candid, and shockingly foul-mouthed…in a word, she was a first class dame. And I ain’t talking about the royal kind.

In my mind, Taylor was a broad in the best sense of the word. She could eat and drink and brawl with the best of them and for that, I salute her.

Hollywood is a freaky place and it changes most people for the worst, but, Taylor always kept it real and remained true to who she was — a totally-hilarious, brassy, old broad — till the very end. So, rock on, Miss Taylor, your humor, humanitarianism and total zest for life will be greatly missed…

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Ricardo Montalban (1920-2009)

For those of you who haven’t heard yet, Ricardo Montalban, the coolest Mexican cat to ever don a white suit in the tropics, passed away today in Los Angeles at the ripe old age of 88.

Ricardo Montalban on "Fantasy Island"

And while he was a pioneering champion of Latino’s everywhere…onstage, onscreen and even behind-the-scenes…Ricardo Montalban was also one hell of an actor. With over one-hundred-and-fifty screen credits to his name, that dude worked non-stop. But there are two roles that, for me at least, made Montalban a straight-up bad-ass.

The first was Montalban’s iconic Mr. Roarke on “Fantasy Island”. I remember the pilot episode of that show scaring the shit out of me…I don’t know why, but there was something really f-ing creepy to me about that island. And if I remember correctly, Mr. Roarke was much more dark and menacing in the early seasons than he was later on. Seriously scary shit…

Childhood nightmares aside, however, the role that will forever endear Ricardo Montlban to me is his big, rip-roaring performance as the maniacal Kahn in “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn”. My Dad was a huge fan of those movies and we watched them many times (except for the sucky first one…yikes) but our favorite to this day is “Kahn”.

Ricardo Montalban as Kahn #2!

Ricardo Montalban as Kahn!

I know it’s lavish praise, but in my mind, Montalban’s villainous turn as Kahn Noonien Singh ranks up there with Darth Vader, Rutger Hauer from “Blade Runner” and maybe the Alien from the “Alien” movies as one of the best sci-fi villains of all time. Seriously, this dude kicked Kirk and company’s ass in that movie! And he was Mexican to boot! Way to go, hombe…way to go!

So, for Kahn, Roarke, and every other suave-ass thing you did in a lifetime of sauve…RIP, amigo. You will be missed…

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