Mr. Roarke Departs Fantasy Island

Everyone will talk about Khan, Roarke, overcoming bigotry, how Ricardo Montalban brought a suave dignity to everything, and how for persons my age he made "rich (or sometimes soft) Corinthian leather" (and see a most excellent parody here) the most elegant-sounding phrase in the English language.

Less well known is that he was a serious stage actor, making his chops on Broadway and in Don Juan in Hell. Unless you got his fundraising letters on behalf of Catholic causes, you probably don't know, either, that he was married to one woman --Loretta Young's sister, Georgiana-- from 1944 until her death two years ago and took his faith seriously.
A deeply spiritual man, Montalban once said that the guiding force in his life was his Catholic faith. In 1998, Pope John Paul II made him a Knight Commander of St. Gregory, the highest honor bestowed upon non-clergy in the Roman Catholic Church.

Also in 1988, then-Mexican President Miguel de la Madrid gave Montalban the Recognition of Merit award, the highest honor bestowed on Mexican civilians, for his work helping to raise more than $10 million after the Mexico City earthquake.
And, Honey, he was dreamy. Here's part I of an interview in which he explains how he escaped becoming "Ricky Martin," how he learned English and his early love for the United States. (His impression of the U.S. as the place of the strong family unit will break your heart.)

Update: He was also the cause of the war on terror.
Update 2: This is wonderful.