Sadly, Ricardo Montalban passed away today.
God, how I loved him as Mr. Roarke on Fantasy Island. Not to use lame vernacular, but Mr. Roarke was a dope pimp. With the accent and those white suits. He was large and in charge on that island and this character is just as interesting a mystery today as he was to me when I was eight.
Was Mr. Roarke a magician? Did he have supernatural powers like a warlock? Did he actually own/create Fantasy Island or was he truly just its caretaker? Was he really able to create all of those fantasies for the guests or was it all really an elaborate scam involving hallucinogens in the Mai Tais and Pina Coladas handed to the people when they got off the sea-planes? Who cares really.
I will say that the show (at least the first season that I have on DVD) still holds up for me, as cheesy as it is. And the biggest reason is Montalban's commitment to the character of Roarke. His portrayal isn't cheesy at all. It's all classy control with a touch of the sage sexy daddy vibe.
Ricardo my man, you will be missed. May you be happy in your big white Monte Carlo in the sky with the fine CorrrrrrDOba leather seats.