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Mark Margolis, known for his unique acting roles in “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul,” passed away this week. He was 83 years old.
Margolis died in New York City at Mount Sinai Hospital on Thursday after a battle with a brief illness, according to his son, Morgan Margolis, CEO of Knitting Factory Entertainment.
“He was one of a kind. We won’t see his likes again,” Robert Kolker, the actor’s longtime manager, said in a statement. “He was a treasured client and a lifelong friend. I was lucky to know him.”
Margolis is best known for his role as Hector Salamanca — nicknamed “Tio” — in “Breaking Bad” and the show’s prequel, “Better Call Saul.”
In the shows, Salamanca is the uncle of three notable characters, Marco, Leonel, and Tuco — all of whom are involved in drug trafficking. Salamanca was handicapped in “Breaking Bad” and communicated by ringing a bell on his wheelchair.
In “Better Call Saul,” Margolis had the opportunity to play a younger version of Salamanca before he became handicapped and unable to speak.
“I was only coming onto ‘Breaking Bad’ as far as I knew for that one episode, but there’s no accounting for taste, and the fans took a fancy to me,” he said. “Somebody asked me recently, ‘How did you manage to play such a horrible guy?’ and I said, ‘Have you talked to my friends?’ They’ll tell you I’m pretty miserable to begin with.”
The Hollywood Reporter noted that Margolis also played roles in “Scarface” (1983), “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective” (1994), “Pi” (1998), “Requiem for a Dream” (2000), “The Fountain” (2006), “The Wrestler” (2008), “Black Swan” (2010), and “Noah” (2014).
“Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul” both released identical statements after Margolis’ passing.
“We join millions of fans in mourning the passing of the immensely talented Mark Margolis, who – with his eyes, a bell, and very few words – turned Hector Salamanca into one of the most unforgettable characters in the history of television,” the statement said. “He will be missed.”
We join millions of fans in mourning the passing of the immensely talented Mark Margolis, who – with his eyes, a bell, and very few words – turned Hector Salamanca into one of the most unforgettable characters in the history of television. He will be missed. pic.twitter.com/gVt8IzxgPw
— Breaking Bad (@BreakingBad) August 4, 2023
“Over the years, Mark has not only dazzled audiences with his exceptional performances he was also an incredibly kind man was a great sense of humor who loved his family,” said Robert Attermann, Margolis’ agent. “His dedication to his craft is evident in the numerous memorable roles he brought to life, captivating audiences with his remarkable range and skill. Beyond Mark’s on-screen achievements, his genuine and approachable demeanor has made him a pleasure to work with. As both an actor and a person, Mark’s enduring excellence and amiable nature have left an indelible impression on those fortunate enough to collaborate with him and know him. He will certainly be missed.”
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