Ricardo Montalban, the Mexican-born actor who became a star in splashy MGM musicals and later as the wish-fulfilling Mr. Roarke in TV's Fantasy Island, died today at his California home at age 88. A generation of TV watchers knew Montalban as the faintly mysterious, white-suited Roarke, who presided over a resort where visitors were able to fulfill lifelong dreams.
Fantasy Island received high ratings for most of its 1978-84 span on ABC-TV and still appears in reruns. Before that, however, Montalban had been a star in Mexican movies when MGM brought him to Hollywood in 1946. He was cast in the leading role opposite Esther Williams in Fiesta. He also starred with the swimming beauty in On an Island with You and Neptune's Daughter.