Mark Margolis, renowned for his roles in ‘Breaking Bad’ and ‘Better Call Saul,’ passes away at the age of 83.

He garnered an Emmy nomination for his portrayal of Hector Salamanca in those series and featured in films like ‘Scarface,’ ‘Ace Ventura: Pet Detective,’ ‘Oz,’ as well as six movies directed by Darren Aronofsky.

Mark Margolis, renowned for his roles in 'Breaking Bad' and 'Better Call Saul,' passes away at the age of 83.

Mark Margolis, the versatile actor who delivered a commanding performance as the vengeful drug trafficker Hector Salamanca – a man of few words and a signature bell – on the hit series Breaking Bad and its prequel Better Call Saul, has passed away at the age of 83.

Margolis’s demise occurred on Thursday at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City after a brief illness, as announced by his son, Morgan Margolis, an actor and the CEO of Knitting Factory Entertainment.

Trained under the tutelage of Stella Adler, Margolis not only honed his craft as an actor but also served as Adler’s personal assistant. His talent was evident in various roles, including the role of the Bolivian henchman Alberto the Shadow in Brian De Palma’s Scarface (1983), the gruff landlord Mr. Shickadance in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994), and as the HIV-infected mob boss Antonio Nappa in HBO’s Oz from 1998 to 2003.

Margolis’s collaboration with filmmaker Darren Aronofsky commenced with the movie Pi (1998), followed by appearances in Aronofsky’s subsequent films, such as Requiem for a Dream (2000), The Fountain (2006), The Wrestler (2008), Black Swan (2010), and Noah (2014).

Regarding his enduring collaboration with Aronofsky, Margolis humorously remarked in a 2012 interview, “He thinks he has an obligation! I started with him on his first movie, the $60,000 Pi, when he was unknown. I chased him for three months because he kept lying to me about when I’d get my money. I finally threatened to call his mother, who was craft services on the film. Then he finally paid me.”

Margolis’s portrayal of “Tio” Salamanca on Breaking Bad in March 2009 was a notable milestone, and his character’s unique communication style using facial expressions and a bell attached to his wheelchair became iconic. His performance culminated in a memorable Emmy-nominated appearance in the show’s fourth-season finale, “Face Off,” where his character exacts revenge on drug kingpin Gus Fring.

In Better Call Saul, the prequel to Breaking Bad, Margolis had a second opportunity to play a younger version of Salamanca before his incapacitation.

Margolis’s acting journey began with his first class at 14, followed by studying under Stella Adler and later Lee Strasberg. He made his onscreen debut in The Opening of Misty Beethoven (1976) and went on to appear in numerous films and TV shows, including Scarface, The Cotton Club, I Shot Andy Warhol, and Law & Order.

His passing has left a void in the entertainment industry, and tributes have poured in from colleagues and fans. In the words of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul writer-producer Peter Gould, “Absolutely devastated to hear that we’ve lost Mark Margolis. Mark was brilliant, funny, a raconteur with a million stories. I miss him already.”

Mark Margolis is survived by his son Morgan, his wife Heide, his wife Jacqueline, his grandsons Ben, Aidan, and Henry, and his brother Jerome and his wife Ann. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Margolis’s life and work stand as a testament to his dedication and talent in the world of acting.

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