"Montalban, who was born in Mexico in 1920, is one of those potentially major actors who never got the roles that might have made them movie stars. He appeared to have everything else -- a marvelous camera face, the physique of a trained dancer, talent, a fine voice (he could even sing), warmth, and great charm. Maybe the charm was a drawback -- it may have made him seem too likable, a lightweight (though it didn't stop Charles Boyer). In Montalban's first English-language picture, M-G-M's Fiesta, in 1947, which featured Esther Williams as a matador, he danced with Cyd Charisse. M-G-M next had him dancing with Charisse and Ann Miller in a Kathryn Grayson-Frank Sinatra film called The Kissing Bandit; it was said that the dancing was added after the executives saw the movie -- they wanted to give the customers something. He kept working -- in pictures such as On an Island with You, with Charisse and Esther Williams, and Neptune's Daughter, and Sombrero, starring Vittorio Gassman, and the low-budget My Man and I, in which he played a sexy handyman and displayed his pectorals, and Latin Lovers, in which he carted Lana Turner around in a tango. He had secondary parts in Sayonara and Hemingway's Adventures of a Young Man, and in Cheyenne Autumn, and he brought conviction to every role that anyone could bring conviction to, but, after almost twenty years in Hollywood, there he was in 1966 in The Singing Nun, with Debbie Reynolds, and, with Lana again, in Madame X. He seems to have lived a (lucrative) horror story, especially when you think of the TV commercials and his ever-ready smile on 'Fantasy Island.' It may be that Khan in 'Space Seed' was the best big role he had ever got, and that the continuation of the role in The Wrath of Khan is the only validation he has ever had of his power to command the big screen."
-- Pauline Kael