Andrew Belonsky

In Praise of Ricardo Montalban's Beefcake Past

Filed By Andrew Belonsky | November 11, 2010 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment
Tags: movies, News, Ricardo Montalbán Beefcake, Simpsons Nudity

Well, Jillian Weiss encouraged me to post some pictures of shirtless men.ricardo2-1.jpg

And since I'm not one to complain about such skin-centric requests -- and it's certainly better than my idea: musing about how Fox now prohibits The Simpsons from televising illustrated tush -- I'd like to take a second to celebrate the late-1940s and 50s-era beefcake, particularly actor Ricardo Montalban.

Though best known for his later work on the television show Fantasy Island, when Montalban got his start he was marketed as a "beefcake," much like his peers, Buster Crabbe and Rudolph Valentino, and cast as the "Latin Lover" in some notable big screen flicks, like Border Incident and Mystery Street.

The term "beefcake" started bubbling up in the 1950s, and traces its etymological origins to the female-oriented term "cheesecake," which Time magazine in 1934 defined as "leg-pictures of sporty females."

"Cheesecake" has since fallen out of style, but its male counterpart, beefcake, meaty and subtly penile, has endeared through the ages. None of the "beefcakes" on display today, however, compare to Montalban and his generation. So, here are some pictures of Montalban from a bygone era.

The actor's death last year was the end of his breed's era, and its doubtful today's Hollywood personalities can ever capture the raw male sexuality exhibited in Montalban and company's vintage aesthetic.






Surely Ricardo's telling this woman that he's saving himself for a time traveling me...

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It's interesting that even in that era before "manscaping" was popular, if not invented, that not one of the pictures has the same amount of body hair as any of the other pictures.

This woman? That woman is the great Shelly Winters...

This woman? That woman is the great Shelly Winters...

Sorry about the double post...

Rory; many folks presume that a man's chest hair is in full bloom by age 21 or so. Not so. Some of us (myself included) see a much slower progression of growth, thickness, and abundance.
If you'll notice; Ricardo's pic with Angela reveals an older guy than the previous photos when he was younger? And to close; my own editorial comment - manscaping is so 90's, guys. Please knock it off? It's all in your head, if you really think your pecs look bigger, simply because you shave? Uh-uh, nope! :)

It isn't just his chest hair. There's no hair on his arms (or chest) in the second to last picture, and has very hairy arms and hands in the last picture. And he doesn't look that young in any of the other pictures.

Rory, keep in mind that plenty of men and people didn't "look that young" in the 40s-50s. There was a different aesthetic and, I suspect, some different effects produced by diet and other factors. Look at high school yearbooks. Even mine from 1965 has a parade of folks who appear to be older than 18 or so.

thanks for the pics of thus handsome man.

I can attest from personal experience that a man's body hair patterns continue to change throughout his adult life -- I wasn't able to grow a decent mustache until well into my 30's. I gets even worse in the elderly years, because you don't know what's going to happen next -- some men lose their body hair, while others continue to get hairier and hairier.

But in that second pic, he definitely is shaved. What a pity that some people don't appreciate the beauty of chest hair.

Correction: The shaved pic is "second-to-last" not "second" from the top.

Hi to all/
i was and still m an enthusiastic fan of Senior Montalban and have followed his career in the movies since late 40th. RICARDO was indeed a sexy hAIRY man. the attitude for hairy men changed during the years and also the role he was featuring some times required bodyhair and sometimes a shaved body. When reading the mags of the 50th you will find sometimes critics that RICARDO was "too"hairy therefor "too" sexy. i found him great whenever he showedoff his macho muscled hairy chest. I highly recommend his appearance as the brave hero in "QUEEN of BABYLON" costarr Rhonda Fleming. He is AWESOME hot there...have a look

Hi again,

I would like to share a pic 0r 2 of hot RICARDO MONTALBAN ( hairy muscled etc )
Plz how do i do it ThanX