'Breaking Bad' actor Mark Margolis dies aged 83

Margolis was best known for his role as ruthless former drug kingpin Hector Salamanca on the series Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul

Mark Margolis (Photo: DW)
Mark Margolis (Photo: DW)


Actor Mark Margolis died on Thursday at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City following a short illness, according to a statement from his son, Morgan Margolis. He was 83 years old.

Margolis had a breakout role as a mobster in the 1983 film "Scarface."

However, he was perhaps best known for his portrayal of "Hector Salamanca," on the series "Breaking Bad" and "Better Call Saul."

Salamanca was a ruthless, elderly gang leader who could not speak or walk, and communicated via menacing facial expressions and by ringing a bell attached to his wheelchair.

In 2012, Margolis was nominated for an Emmy for outstanding guest actor for his role as Salamanca.

'Unforgettable' performance as Salamanca

On the X social media platform formerly known as Twitter, Breaking Bad said Margolis turned Salamanca into one of television's "most unforgettable" characters.

Breaking Bad co-star Brian Cranston shared his condolences on Instagram, calling Margolis, "fun and engaging off the set ... and intimidating and frightening on set."

"His quiet energy belied his mischievous nature and curious mind," Cranston wrote.

Peter Gould, a writer and producer of Breaking Bad, said Margolis was "brilliant, funny, a raconteur with a million stories."

Margolis was born in the east coast US city of Philadelphia in 1939.

He studied acting in New York City with noted teacher Stella Adler, and focused on the stage in his early career.

Margolis appeared in dozens of shows both on and off-Broadway, including at the Public Theater in New York.

His roles on the big screen include around 70 movies, most recently Matthew Coppola's 2022 film "Broken Soldier" with Sophie Turner and the late Ray Liotta.

He also appeared in several critically acclaimed films by director Darren Aronofsky, including "Pi" and "Requiem for a Dream."

Margolis is survived by his wife of 61 years, Jacqueline Margolis, and his son Morgan. The family plans to have a private memorial and funeral.

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