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Hervé Villechaize as Tattoo on Fantasy Island

Getty Images / ABC

Hervé Villechaize as Tattoo on Fantasy Island

Seventy years ago today, a TV icon was born – one we knew best as Tattoo.

Hervé Villechaize was born April 23, 1943, in Paris, France, but it was in Hollywood that he would make his mark. For seven seasons from 1977 to 1984, Villechaize played Tattoo, sidekick to Ricardo Montalban's Mr. Roarke on hit Aaron Spelling television show "Fantasy Island." 

If you were in America and anywhere near a television in the late 1970s or early ‘80s, you’re probably familiar with Tattoo's catchphrase, “Ze plane! Ze plane!” Indeed, for many viewers, Villechaize was "Fantasy Island," more so even than his top-billed costar, Montalban, who played “ze boss." With his energy and enthusiasm – not to mention his exotic French accent and gravelly voice – Tattoo charmed his way into the hearts of fans who tuned in each week to be transported to an island where anything could happen.

Villechaize died by suicide Sept. 4, 1993 at the age of 50. Today in celebration of his life, we're watching a few of our favorite Tattoo moments.

The classic opening scene: "Ze plane! Ze plane!"

Tattoo and Mr. Roarke dance

What the chicks go for