A Tragic Day For Good Actors

It’s with great sadness that the news came that Patrick McGoohan, the brooding genius behind The Prisoner, died yesterday. The second gut-punch came with word that the uniquely regal Ricardo (Mr. Roarke/KHAN!) Montalban had also passed. McGoohan was 80, Montalban was 88.

Despite his status as the epitome of ’60s Brit psychedelic cool, McGoohan was actually Irish American. He took his early fame as “Danger Man’s” secret agent and turned it completely around, creating The Prisoner, a stunningly strange and powerful statement on, well, this:

While more reclusive in later years, McGoohan still managed a wonderfully vicious turn in Braveheart.

Ricardo Montalban arrived in Hollywood at a time when the only roles Mexicans could get were as Indians or Asians — and they wanted him to change his name to Ricky Martin. He persevered, eventually finding success as Fantasy Island’s suave host, Mr. Roarke, and becoming a supervillain for the ages as Star Trek’s Khan Noonien Singh:

Montalban worked up into his 80s, including some sly self parody in Freakazoid.

Both were excellent, oft-underrated actors. Both were true originals. Rest in peace, gentlemen.

11 Responses to “A Tragic Day For Good Actors”

  1. Binnorie Says:

    Patrick?! Noooooo!!

    I will now commence to watch all episodes of the Prisoner in commemoration.

  2. I Am A Free Man!! « The Curio Society Says:

    […] Am A Free Man!! I have just heard from Coilhouse that the Secret Agent Man himself (aka #6), Patrick McGoohan, has passed away at age 80. In […]

  3. Alice Says:

    Nooooo! Khaaaaaan!

    I mean, uh…Ricardoooooo!

  4. Jamie Says:

    This made me so sad… I had heard both of them died but I only knew who Ricardo Montalban is, since my favorite Star Trek movie ever is The Wrath of Khan. I have seen and enjoyed a couple of episodes of The Prisoner, though, so perhaps it’s high time to get around to watching a few more. But we can be glad that they both led long lives and left wonderful things for posterity to enjoy!

  5. James Shearhart Says:

    It has been a trying time around my place because of this – for a time I was ranting at the heavens to just go ahead and ruin the whole of my bright and shiny new year and kill Harlan Ellison or Tom Waits – but so far it’s quieted down.

    I always thought McGoohan should have been a “bigger” star in film than he was, he has a subtlety of expression that worked well for the camera, and he was great in the big shouty bits as well.

    As for Montalban, I just got finished reading a piece from Mark Evanier. This, I think, speaks of the man best:

  6. OGD Says:


    Like Binnorie I think I’m going to disappear into the world of The Prisoner for the rest of the day. Be seeing you.

  7. Slackety Pants Says:

    My favorite Ricardo short:

  8. Shay Says:

    Watching The Prisoner at a very young age is probably a major contributor to what made me weird. Thank you, McGoohan, for seeding subversion in my impressionable young mind. The allegory is eternal and lives on in us.

    Be Seeing You.

  9. Tequila Says:

    Sad news…read the variety news bits on both and it’s always a comfort to know the work, impressions, and sheer pop culture impact each made will outlive us all. Ricardo I always had insane levels of respect for and always will because he pushed into hard Hollywood territory. Not exactly the most open town at times no matter how much George Clooney likes to think so.

    RIP gentlemen…

    The remembrance list for those who passed this year at the Oscars is gonna be a long one…Death was busy in 2008

  10. meardearna Says:

    What wonderful cinema and thought provoking drama Patrick McGoohan has given us. Images of him as No.6 will always take my breath away. RIP.

  11. coffee Says:

    in retrospect, i think Dos Equis should have hired Ricardo Montalban to do a few ads for them as their “most interesting man in the world” (he has a Spanish accent too, which fits perfectly)