Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Cash Flagg, Khan, and the Prisoner

They say it happens in threes. Unfortunately, the last few days have seen that adage sadly borne out again, as the entertainment world has lost three fine gentleman: Ray Dennis Steckler over the weekend, Patrick McGoohan yesterday, and today Ricardo Montalban.

Ray Dennis Steckler may be the least well-known of the three in mainstream culture, but fans of rock-n-roll infused B-movies of the sixties know his work very well: "Wild Guitars", "The Thrill Killers", and "Rat Pfink a Boo Boo" are among the canon of drive-in shlock classics Steckler directed and produced...and often acted in under the alias Cash Flagg.

Patrick McGoohan had a slightly higher profile in the mainstream, best known to a generation of TV viewers as Number Six, or "The Prisoner", McGoohan's career spanned five decades of work in movies and television, including a parody of the Number Six character in a 2000 episode of The Simpsons.

Ricardo Montalban
had the most well-known career of the three, but it will be a shame if he is remembered only as Mr. Roarke, as Cpt. Kirk's greatest foe Khan, or as the car commercial guy selling us on "rich, Corinthian leather" interiors. While these may be the roles for which he is best remembered, Montalban's resume demonstrates an actor with far greater talent.

A moment of remembrance, please, for these three gentleman. May they rest in peace.