NEW YORK – Veteran character actor Mark Margolis, who had a breakout position as a mobster in “Scarface” however turned finest recognized a long time later for his indelible, fearsome portrayal of a vindictive former drug kingpin in TV’s “Breaking Bad,” has died. He was 83.
The actor died on Thursday at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City following a short illness, according to a statement from his son, Morgan Margolis.
Margolis was nominated for an Emmy in 2012 for outstanding guest actor in “Breaking Bad” as Hector “Tio” Salamanca, the murderous aged don who was unable to talk following a stroke. However this actor didn’t want dialogue; he communicated through facial expressions and the generally menacing use of a barhop bell taped to his wheelchair.
Much of his character’s backstory later played out on “Better Call Saul,” the prequel in which he guest-starred from 2016 to 2022. Margolis has said he based his portrayal of the kingpin partly on his own experience caring for a relative who’d suffered a stroke.
On social media, admirers shared scenes of Hector — especially of his explosive demise. Margolis was hailed on the official X (formerly Twitter) account of “Breaking Bad” as an “immensely talented” actor “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.” And the show’s star, Bryan Cranston, praised his co-actor on Instagram, saying he was “fun and engaging off the set, and (in the case of ‘Breaking Bad’ and ‘Your Honor’) intimidating and frightening on set. His quiet energy belied his mischievous nature and curious mind.”
Margolis also was known for many film roles, particularly in the films of Darren Aronofsky: “Requiem for a Dream,” The Fountain,” “Noah,” “Black Swan,” “The Wrestler” and “Pi.” However his breakout movie position was mobster Alberto “The Shadow” in Brian de Palma’s 1983 “Scarface,” reverse Al Pacino’s Tony Montana, who famously shoots and kills Alberto earlier than the latter can detonate a automobile bomb and kill an harmless lady and her children.
Different movie roles included “The Thomas Crown Affair,” “Gone Baby Gone,” “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective,” and “Stand Up Guys.”
Margolis was born in Philadelphia in 1939 and studied appearing in New York Metropolis with famous instructor Stella Adler. “I used to say, if God is a woman, this is him,” Margolis mentioned in a 2022 interview about Adler.
Specializing in the stage in his early profession, he appeared in dozens of reveals off-Broadway, together with on the Public Theater in New York, and on Broadway within the short-lived “Infidel Caesar,” based on Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” however set in Cuba. “The play crashed in about four weeks,” Margolis mused in the 2022 interview. “It was beautiful but ahead of its time.” He additionally based Blue Dome, a touring theater troupe.
Though best known for “Breaking Bad” and “Better Called Saul,” Margolis’ many TV roles also included “The Equalizer,” “Oz,” “American Horror Story: Asylum,” “Crossing Jordan,” “Californication,” and “The Affair.” He most lately appeared in 5 episodes of Showtime’s “Your Honor” as a Mafia kingpin.
His roles on the massive display spanned some 70 motion pictures, most lately Matthew Coppola’s 2022 “Broken Soldier” with Sophie Turner and the late Ray Liotta.
Margolis is survived by his spouse of 61 years, Jacqueline Margolis, and his son Morgan, who’s CEO of Knitting Manufacturing unit Leisure. The household plans to have a non-public memorial and funeral.
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