Mark Margolis, Star of Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad, dies at age 83

Mark Margolis, a star of Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad, passes away at the age of 83

Mark Margolis, Star of Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad, dies at age 83

In “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul,” Mark Margolis played the ominous, bell-ringing Hector Salamanca. He passed away on Thursday at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. He was 83.

Morgan Margolis, his son, made the announcement.

Margolis scarcely spoke, but with his role as the former drug lord who still keeps an eye on the Albuquerque meth trade from his nursing home, he made an indelible impression on the Vince Gilligan television universe. He received an Emmy nomination in 2012 for his role in “Breaking Bad.”

For five seasons, he played Hector “To” Salamanca in the Bob Odenkirk-hosted prequel series “Better Call Saul,” giving the character a deep past.

Mark Margolis, Star of Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad, dies at age 83

Mark Margolis, who was born in Philadelphia in 1939, travelled to New York at a young age to seek a career in acting. He obtained roles in Broadway plays including “Infidel Caesar” thanks to his early enthusiasm in theatre. Later on, he would make appearances in over 50 Off-Broadway productions, such as “Uncle Sam” and “The Golem.”

Mark Margolis played the antagonist and bodyguard Alberto, also known as The Shadow, in Brian De Palma’s mafia classic “Scarface,” which was his breakthrough performance. Margolis, a frequent Darren Aronofsky collaborator, also starred in “Pi,” “Noah,” “Black Swan,” and “The Wrestler.” Over the course of five decades, he has over 70 film credits.

In addition to “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul,” Margolis also frequently appeared in the television series “The Equalizer,” “Oz,” “Kings,” and “American Horror Story: Asylum.” Additionally, she had appearances as a guest on “Gotham,” “Californication,” “Crossing Jordan,” and “The Affair.”

Mark Margolis was a great good actor and a wonderful person, Bryan Cranston wrote on Instagram. Off-set, enjoyable and interesting, yet on-set (in the case of Breaking Bad and Your Honor), threatening and frightful. His low-key energy belied his cunning character and inquisitive mind. He also enjoyed telling jokes.
Margolis was recalled by Bob Odenkirk on Twitter, who wrote: “A strong screen presence! When ‘Action’ was screamed, Mark made me giggle in the vehicle on the way to the set with his jokes and observations. I can only hope I had half his enthusiasm and concentration.

Mark Margolis, Star of Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad, dies at age 83

Renowned actor Mark Margolis, known for his captivating performances across film and television, has left an indelible mark on the entertainment industry. His passing has elicited heartfelt tributes from colleagues and fans alike, underscoring his unique talent and warm spirit.

Robert Kolker, Margolis’ manager, fondly recalled him as “one of a kind,” emphasizing that his presence will be sorely missed. Kolker highlighted Margolis’ dual role as both a cherished customer and a steadfast friend, reflecting the depth of his relationships.

Peter Gould, co-creator and showrunner of “Better Call Saul,” expressed profound sadness over Margolis’ passing, describing him as a “raconteur with a ton of stories” who possessed both wit and humor. Gould’s tribute on Twitter encapsulated the sentiment shared by many who had the privilege of knowing Margolis.

Thomas Schnauz, a writer and producer for “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul,” echoed similar sentiments, reminiscing about Margolis’ ability to bring levity to any set. Schnauz fondly recalled their collaboration on “Breaking Bad,” where Margolis’ character left a lasting impression on both audiences and colleagues.

Beyond his television work, Margolis left an indelible mark on cinema, delivering memorable performances in a diverse array of films. From his roles in Darren Aronofsky’s thought-provoking dramas to his portrayal of iconic characters like Alberto “The Shadow” in “Scarface,” Margolis showcased his versatility as an actor.

Survived by his wife of 61 years, Jacqueline Margolis, and son Morgan Margolis, CEO of Knitting Factory Entertainment, Margolis leaves behind a legacy that transcends his artistic contributions. As his family prepares to bid farewell in a private funeral and memorial service, Margolis’ impact on the world of entertainment will endure through the timeless characters he brought to life and the memories he shared with loved ones.

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