Gib actor ‘Ricardo Montez’ will be missed by many around the world

Gibraltar was saddened to learn of the death last week of Levy Attias “Levito” aka Ricardo Montez, after a short illness. He was 86.
“Levito” as he was fondly known locally, left Gibraltar in the early 1960s to pursue his burning ambition, that of becoming an actor. He first tasted the world of show business during the 2nd World War in London, when he got a small part in a film while still a teenager. Later on, one of variety’s last great all-round entertainers, Frankie Vaughan, discovered Levy while on location in Gibraltar, when Levy was playing a small part in the same film. Frankie Vaughan encouraged young Levy to visit him in London.

Levy eventually moved to London and started his acting career in the film, Pirates of Blood River in 1962. Michael Caine was one of his friends in those early days when they were both searching for work in the movie industry.

With persistence and determination Levy then went onto build great success on television and starred in over 150 episodes in some of the best known UK TV series spanning three decades. He acted with stars such as Roger Moore in The Saint; Patrick Macnee and Diana Rigg in The Avengers; The ITV play of the week;
The likes of Sykes with Eric Sykes; The Persuaders with Hollywood actor Tony Curtis and Roger Moore; Pierce Brosnan of Remington Steele and many others.
In the early 1970s Levy successfully wrote an extremely popular series for ITV called the Freewheelers. This series harks back to a bygone "golden" age of kids' TV drama, when the shows were simply about rip-roaring fun and didn't take themselves so seriously.

His major breakthrough came when he starred a major role in 42 episodes of the ITV comedy series Mind Your Language when he played Juan Cervantes - with his famous lines 'por favor' and 'itssoorright'. This series is still so popular the world over that it enjoys over 100,000 followers on Facebook.
Three years ago in magical setting the Hollywood star, Meryl Streep, threw a huge surprise birthday party for the ever popular Levy, in the idyllic Greek Island of Skopelos, whilst they were both on location shooting the block buster movie, Mamma Mia.

Levy was an extremely talented, humble and honest man who was proud of being Gibraltarian. Whenever it was appropriate he defended Gibraltar’s rights in the UK movie industry, always making his Gibraltarian identity and roots of paramount importance both personally and publicly. In his early career days his mentors would always advise him to say that he was originally from Spain as that was more popular with movie producers. Levy would always refuse and proudly say he was from Gibraltar, even though he sometimes suspected that that could lose him the part in a film, if the producer preferred to cast a native of Spain.

Levy Attias, “Levito” aka Ricardo Montez leaves his wife, Orita, his daughter Clara and grandchildren. He will be missed by many around the world.
- Kenneth Castiel



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