Tribecan Mark Margolis, a prolific actor in movies and TV, dies at 83

Credit: Kristin Callahan, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Mark Margolis, a prolific actor whose 60-year career included roles in TV and movies as well as a starring turn as Hector Salamanca on “Breaking Bad,” died on August 3 at age 83 following a brief illness. There are dozens of wonderful obituaries, including that from The Times and the Washington Post, so I will not repeat them. But the tribute from Gigino Trattoria, where he was a regular and had a special role there in film, was especially moving and I wanted to include his Tribeca connections here.

Margolis was a long-time resident of Tribeca — he and his wife, Jacqueline, moved to Independence Plaza in 1976 — and he was also a character in the 2001 movie “Dinner Rush” — directed by Gigino co-owner Bob Giraldi.

“Most people will remember Mark as he portrayed Hector Salamanca on ‘Breaking Bad’ and which earned him a nomination in 2012 for an Emmy,” Giraldi wrote on the Gigino Instagram tribute. “But we’ll remember Mark as the pesky, audacious fine arts dealer named Fitzgerald in the film I directed in 2001, ‘Dinner Rush.'”

The independent feature film, which starred Danny Aiello, was shot almost exclusively inside Gigino, and tells the story of the NYC latest hotspot, “where love, gambling, food and money are all on the menu.” Gigino executive chef Luigi Celentano plays the chef in the movie in his acting debut.

“There are sweet memories and sad moments — side by side forever in a reality never to be forgotten. Such were the feelings we had when we heard the news of the sudden passing of the irascible and enduring actor and neighbor,” Giraldi continued. “We will always remember his performances and quirkiness— and later, his twice-a-week larger than life appearances that always brought a smile.

“We hope there’s a good part for you up there, Mark. We’ll miss you.”


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  1. RIP Mark.

  2. While rewatching Dinner Rush less than a year ago – a film I had not seen since it’s release in early 2000 – when I saw Mark Margolis play the part as an art dealer who was prone to insult of others – my immediate thought was – of course he is in this movie. Isn’t he in most films?

    Thank you for also remembering Mark Margolis in this fine film that was done in our neighborhood.

  3. First came across him on Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. Then I started seeing him around Tribeca – on the street, Whole Foods, and at PS 234 on election day. Huge loss to Tribeca.

  4. I frequently saw this marvelous actor in the elevator of my apartment building. At first, I thought he looked familiar but couldn’t place him. Then my brother, incredulous of my ignorance, told me that Margolis was the brilliant actor who inspired terror in his role as the bell-ringing wheelchair-bound drug king in Breaking Bad. After that, I so wanted to congratulate him for his performance. Wish I had. How he would have appreciated the numerous letters in response to the NY Times obit ! Hope he knew how appreciated he was.

  5. I once lived in the same building as Mark (19 years) and in the elevator once I complemented him on his northern Vermont accent ( I had just watched him in a movie where he was a character playing that part + told him I knew because I was born up there) so from then on -for years- I was greeted by him as “Vermont” and my greeting to him was “ Movie Star” …so, for all those years it was,”Hey, Vermont “ then, “Hey, Movie Star”… this went on + on. We had some good conversations over the years and that man certainly could make me laugh. He was so bright and witty and a delight in person and on the screen.

  6. Mark was my friend and neighbor who always had our backs. He and his wife Jackie watch our apartment and water our plants when my son and I travel and we do the same on their trips to Albuquerque for filming his Hector Salamanca scenes. Mark’s sense of humor, appreciation of history and love of his family were a blessing. I miss him.