How can we forget Ricardo Montalban, a Hispanic playing Khan, a Sikh from India. Crazy think is, he pulled it off !
Happened all the time in the '60s. Anyone remotely "ethnic" in appearance got cast as all sorts of different ethnicities. Michael Ansara, who was from Syria, often played American Indians. Barbara Luna got cast as all sorts of different ethnicities. Even Leonard Nimoy was sometimes cast as an Indian or Asian.
But no, Montalban did not remotely pull off playing a Sikh. Sikh men are not clean-shaven, they do not have neck-length hair, they do not go bareheaded in public, and those who come from India do not, as a rule, have Mexican accents. (Although there is a Sikh community in Mexico
, and a distinctive Punjabi Mexican American community
that's formed around Yuba City, CA and includes Sikhs as well as Hindu, Muslims, and Catholics.)
I have to call nitpicking on this one. Khan may have been born to a Sikh family, and may have even been raised Sikh, but such an arrogant, self-aggrandizing rat bastard with delusions of grandeur can not
, in any sense, have been a practicing Sikh. By the time he was exiled, Khan must have thrown off all the trappings of his childhood religion, fully believing himself above them, and all they represent to the true believers.