Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Da Buss, St. Peter! Da Buss!

Ricardo Montalban travels in elephants at 88.

I wasn't allowed to stay up very often and watch Fantasy Island, but since I'm not Trekkie enough to think of him as Khan, the image of Mr. Roarke will always be in my head. Interestingly, Montalban thought of Fantasy Island as kind of a purgatory allegory, where people are forced to come to terms with their own flaws and sins. Not quite the orthodox take on purgatory, since not everyone there was to be redeemed, but still a very Christian take on a very worldly show.

His Catholic Christianity seems to have been more than just stained-glass window dressing. he was married to his wife for 63 years. In Hollywood! And this bit I found from a 1978 issue of People was interesting:
Montalban attributes part of the success of his 33-year marriage to adopting the rhythm method of birth control after the arrival of their fourth child. "It's one of the wisest policies the Catholic Church ever made," he explains. "The 10 days of abstinence awakens passion." Their daughter Laura, 32, is an assistant to designer Bill Blass; Mark, 30, is studying anesthesiology; Anita, 28, works in a YSL boutique, and Bill, 25, is a complaint manager for the phone company. A Catholic traditionalist ("The Gregorian chant is more beautiful than a boy and girl with a guitar"), Montalban explains of his marital vows, "I have an intellectual commitment. I play by the rules. Why say 'until death do you part' unless you plan to do it?"

How many Hollywood actors take their Christian faith (if they have any at all) that seriously? Taking a stand, even in his own marriage, for Catholic chastity would result in a blacklist today.
Faithful Christian, faithful husband, active father, hard-working actor. Smiles, everyone! Smiles!

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