Mark Margolis, who portrayed the menacing, bell-ringing Hector Salamanca in “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul,” died Thursday at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City. He was 83.
His son, Morgan Margolis, announced the news.
As the former drug kingpin who continues to hover over the Albuquerque meth trade from his nursing home, Margolis left an unforgettable mark on the Vince Gilligan television universe with barely any dialogue. In 2012, he was nominated for an Emmy for his performance in “Breaking Bad.”
He returned as Hector “Tío” Salamanca for five seasons in the Bob Odenkirk-led prequel series “Better Call Saul,” where he infused a rich backstory into the character.
Born in 1939 in Philadelphia, Margolis moved to New York at a young age to pursue acting. With an early interest in theater, he landed roles in productions such as “Infidel Caesar” on Broadway. He would go on to appear in more than 50 Off-Broadway plays, including “Uncle Sam” and “The Golem.”
His breakout film role was in Brian De Palma’s mob classic “Scarface,” in which Margolis played the villain and bodyguard Alberto, aka The Shadow. A longtime collaborator of Darren Aronofsky, Margolis has also appeared in “Noah,” “Black Swan,” “The Wrestler” and “Pi.” He boasts over 70 film credits across five decades.
Outside of “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul,” Margolis had recurring roles in television series including “The Equalizer,” “Oz,” “Kings” and “American Horror Story: Asylum,” and guest starred on “Californication,” “Gotham,” “Crossing Jordan” and “The Affair.”
Margolis’ manager Robert Kolker said in a statement, “He was one of a kind. We won’t see his likes again. He was a treasured client and a lifelong friend. I was lucky to know him.”