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Richard Montez

Josino, Escape in Time

by Pete Stampede

Billed as Ricardo Montez from the early 70's on, Richard Montez was often roped into the ITC filmed action series, contemporary with The Avengers (and usually made at Elstree Studios, too), to lend an authentic Mediterranean air to the projected backdrops. Examples were: Man Of The World, "The Sentimental Agent" (ATV/ITC, 1962), which acted as the pilot for a later series of that name (one episode of which featured Diana Rigg's screen debut, not to mention Donald Sutherland) and "The Bullfighter" (1963), as a character imaginatively named Garcia, also with Ferdy Mayne. Then, many episodes of The Saint: "The Golden Journey" (ATV/ITC, 1962), as a head waiter; "Teresa" (1964), also with Alexander Davion; "The Revolution Racket" (1965), with Peter Arne, set in South America, and the last of this lot in black and white; "Locate and Destroy" (1966), with Honor Blackman's then-husband Maurice Kaufmann (seen in "Quick-Quick Slow Death"), plus Roger Delgado, Alan Lake and Harry Landis; and the last half only of the two-part "Vendetta for the Saint" (1969). The latter, with Ian Hendry, Steven Berkoff, Aimi MacDonald and Fulton Mackay, actually had location shooting in Italy for once, and was shown in cinemas outside the UK. Another two-parter was Man In A Suitcase, "Variation On A Million Bucks" (ATV/ITC, 1967) with Montez as a clerk in the Lisbon bank where McGill (Richard Bradford) locates Russian chum Anton Rodgers' dying bequest: he was also in "The Man Who Stood Still", supposedly in Spain, with Rupert 'Maigret' Davies and Philip Bond, and "Night Flight to Andorra" with Zia Mohyeddin, from "Honey for the Prince", and Peter Swanwick.

Trips into the fantastic, though till in Montez's usual line of casting, came with The Champions, "Get Me Out Of Here!" (ATV/ITC, 1968), wasting Avengers doppelgangers Ronald Radd and Philip Madoc, and UFO, "Mindbender" (ATV/ITC, 1970) as one of a trio of Spaghetti Western types seen during a hallucination. He had altered his first name to Ricardo by the time he did The Persuaders, "Nuisance Value" (ATV/ITC, 1971), as a Spanish police inspector: in Jason King, "A Kiss For A Beautiful Killer" (ATV/ITC, 1971), his hairstyle and moustache were not too different from Peter Wyngarde's own, but he was more convincing as a South American than the likes of Clifford Evans and Kate O'Mara. Edging into the "funny-foreigner" mode, he was one of Bernard Bresslaw's desert infidels in Follow That Camel (1967), which only had the Carry On... prefix added on reissue, following the series' change of distributors.

He was a regular on Mind Your Language (1977-79), an absolutely awful sitcom about a teaching English school, full of offensive, unfunny stereotypes. Hmmm, maybe it'll be a hit on PBS in a few years' time... He's still around in bit parts, most recently in Incognito (1997). Unbelievably, there was a second, independently made series of Mind Your Language (Tri Films, 1986) years later. Less unbelievably, it was only carried by some of the ITV regions. Montez and most of the original cast returned, including lead Barry Evans, who had starred in several dodgy films in the intervening years, and later died in mysterious circumstances. A more reputable comedic credit for Montez came in an Eric Sykes special, The Likes Of Sykes (Thames, 1980). He's still around in bit parts, most recently in Incognito (1997).

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This bio Copyright 1999-2008 Gavin Gaughan.
Page last modified 5 January 2003.