Last Updated: April 12, 2024
Richest CelebritiesActors
Net Worth:
$10 Million
Nov 25, 1920 - Jan 14, 2009 (88 years old)
Mexico City
6 ft (1.83 m)
Actor, Spokesperson, Voice Actor
💰 Compare Ricardo Montalbán's Net Worth

What was Ricardo Montalbán's Net Worth?

Ricardo Montalbán was a film and television actor who had a net worth of $10 million at the time of his death in 2009. Ricardo Montalbán's career spanned seven decades. Among his most famous roles were Mr. Roarke on the television series "Fantasy Island," Khan Noonien Singh in the 1982 film "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan," and Armando in the third and fourth "Planet of the Apes" films. Montalbán also appeared in the 1970s ABC television miniseries "How the West Was Won," for which he won an Emmy Award.

Hollywood Mansion + Jho Low Connection

In 1986 completed construction on a large mansion in the Hollywood Hills located at 1423 Oriole Avenue. The mansion was designed by prolific Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta. Construction took 2-3 years. Upon Ricardo's death the mansion was inherited by his daughter Laura. For whatever reason, she transferred the home to her husband in 2009 for a payment of $9 million. Following this transfer "Casa Montalbán" was razed and by 2012 a new modern 13,000-square-foot mansion stood in its place. Ricardo is pictured below on the balcony of the mansion with his two dogs in 1986:

Ricardo Montalban in 1986 (Photo by Bob Riha Jr/WireImage)

In 2012 the home was purchased by an LLC for $38.98 million. The owner behind the LLC was now-infamous-fugitive Jho Low. Low purchased the property with money he embezzled from the 1Malaysia Development Berhard Fund, aka 1MDB. He was later accused of masterminding a $4.5 billion theft from the Malaysian government. As it turned out, the mansion purchase set off a red flag with federal authorities and financial investigators. Low only stayed at the home a few nights before he fled the country. He has been living as a fugitive ever since. Federal authorities seized the property and listed it for $24.5 million in July 2019 – $14.5 million less than Low paid seven years prior. It ultimately sold for $18.5 million in March 2020. The property sat abandoned between 2013 and 2020. Here's a drone video of how it looked during that period:

Early Life

Ricardo Montalbán was born on November 25, 1920 in Mexico City, Mexico to Spanish immigrants Ricarda and Genaro. He had a sister named Carmen and two brothers named Pedro and Carlos. Raised in Torreón, Montalbán moved with his family to Los Angeles, California when he was an adolescent. The family moved again, to New York City, in 1940.

Career Beginnings

Montalbán began his career in the early 1940s appearing in soundies on film jukeboxes in New York. After that, he returned to Mexico and appeared in a number of films there. Montalbán became a star in his home country with his role in the 1943 romantic drama film "Santa." He subsequently appeared in such films as "Five Were Chosen," "The Escape," "Nosotros," and "The Hour of Truth."


In 1947, Montalbán made his Hollywood acting debut in the MGM musical "Fiesta," playing a bullfighter opposite Esther Williams. Due to the popularity of the film, Montalbán was signed to MGM on a long-term contract. He was subsequently re-teamed with Williams for the musicals "On an Island with You" and "Neptune's Daughter." Montalbán had his first Hollywood leading role in Anthony Mann's 1949 film noir "Border Incident." He next starred in the war film "Battleground," directed by William Wellman; the film noir "Mystery Street," directed by John Sturges; and the sports drama "Right Cross,"  also directed by Sturges. Montalbán also starred opposite Jane Powell in the musical "Two Weeks with Love." After appearing in the swashbuckler "Mark of the Renegade" for Universal in 1951, he returned to MGM for the Western "Across the Wide Missouri." The next year, Montalbán starred opposite Shelley Winters in William Wellman's "My Man and I." His final two films for MGM were the 1953 titles "Sombrero" and "Latin Lovers," both of which were box-office flops.

Further Film Career

In 1954, Montalbán starred in the swashbuckler "The Saracen Blade" for Columbia Pictures. He then returned to Mexico to star in "Untouched." After that, Montalbán went to Italy to star in "The Queen of Babylon" with Rhonda Fleming. Back in Mexico, he shot the thriller "A Life in the Balance," which was released in 1955. In the latter half of the decade, Montalbán appeared in "Three for Jamie Dawn," "Desert Warrior," and the Academy Award-winning romantic drama "Sayonara." Kicking off the 1960s, he starred in the neo-noir crime drama "Let No Man Write My Epitaph" and the Italian epic adventure film "Rage of the Buccaneers." Montalbán appeared in many other notable films throughout the rest of the decade, including "The Reluctant Saint," "Cheyenne Autumn," "The Money Trap," "The Singing Nun," "Sol Madrid," "Blue," and "Sweet Charity."

In the early 1970s, Montalbán played Armando in "Escape from the Planet of the Apes" and "Conquest of the Planet of the Apes," the third and fourth installments, respectively, in the "Planet of the Apes" film series. He was also in the Western "The Train Robbers." Montalbán had his next major film role in 1982's "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan," the second installment in the "Star Trek" film series. He played the villainous Khan Noonien Singh, reprising his role from an episode of the "Star Trek" television series. Montalbán went on to have a cameo in the 1984 action comedy "Cannonball Run II." Four years after that, he played the villain Vincent Ludwig in the comedy "The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!" Montalbán didn't return to the big screen until 2002, when he played Grandpa Valentin Avellan in "Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams." He reprised his role the next year in "Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over." Montalbán had his final film role in the animated film "The Ant Bully" in 2006.

Ricardo Montalban

Amanda Edwards/Getty Images

Television Career

Montalbán began his television career in the 1950s in episodes of various anthology series, including "The Ford Television Theatre," "Climax!," and "Playhouse 90." In the early 1960s, he had guest roles on such shows as "Bonanza," "The Untouchables," "The Virginian," "Ben Casey," and "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." Montalbán continued appearing on a wide range of shows throughout the decade, including "Dr. Kildare," "I Spy," "Ironside," and "The High Chaparral." He also made his debut as the villainous Khan Noonien Singh in the "Space Seed" episode of "Star Trek," and starred in the NBC television film "The Desperate Mission." In the first half of the 1970s, Montalbán appeared on "Gunsmoke," "Here's Lucy," and "Hawaii Five-O," among other shows, and appeared in the television film "The Mask of Zorro." Later in the decade, he had a recurring role on the short-lived CBS primetime soap opera "Executive Suite" and a guest role in the ABC miniseries "How the West Was Won." For the latter, Montalbán won an Emmy Award.

Montalbán's most famous television role was as Mr. Roarke on the ABC series "Fantasy Island," which ran from 1978 to 1984. He costarred alongside Hervé Villechaize, who played his character's sidekick Tattoo. After that, Montalbán played Zach Powers on the ABC primetime soap opera "The Colbys," a spinoff of "Dynasty." The show ran from 1985 to 1987. In the early 1990s, Montalbán made guest appearances on the shows "B.L. Stryker," "Murder, She Wrote," "Dream On," and "The Golden Palace," and had a main role on the short-lived syndicated series "Heaven Help Us." After that, he primarily did voice acting, with credits including the animated series "Freakazoid!," "Buzz Lightyear of Star Command," "Dora the Explorer," and "Kim Possible." Montalbán's final role on television was as General Juanito Pequeño in an episode of the Fox animated series "American Dad!" in 2009.

Nosotros Foundation and Ricardo Montalbán Theatre

In 1970, Montalbán co-founded the Nosotros Foundation to help advocate for Latinos in the film and television industries. He served as the first president of the Foundation. Later, the Nosotros Foundation purchased the Doolittle Theatre in Hollywood and renamed it the Ricardo Montalbán Theatre.

Personal Life and Death

Montalbán was married to actress Georgiana Young from 1944 until her passing 63 years later. The pair had met on a blind date, after which Montalbán immediately proposed to Young. Together, they had four children named Laura, Mark, Anita, and Victor.

On January 14, 2009, Montalbán passed away from congestive heart failure at his home in Los Angeles. He was 88 years of age. Montalbán is interred in Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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