Breaking Bad actor Mark Margolis has died at the age of 83, his family has announced.
The performer “passed away following a short illness” at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City on Thursday, relatives said in a statement.
Margolis appeared in more than 100 TV programmes and films, including Scarface and Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.
But he was perhaps best known for his portrayal of Hector Salamanca in Breaking Bad, in which he played a wheelchair-using crime boss who was unable to speak and communicated using only a hotel reception-style bell.
Margolis, who was nominated for a best guest actor Emmy in 2012 his performance in the series, later reprised the role in Breaking Bad prequel Better Call Saul.
He also received acclaim for playing a Sicilian mob boss infected with HIV in prison drama Oz.
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Bryan Cranston, who starred as Walter White in Breaking Bad, said he was “very saddened” as he led tributes.
Writing on Instagram, he added: “Mark Margolis was a really good actor and a lovely human being. 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… And he loved sharing a good joke. I miss him already. Rest now, Mark and thank you for your friendship and your exceptional body of work.”
Bob Odenkirk, who played lawyer Saul Goodman in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, described Margolis as a “powerful screen presence”.
He said: “Mark made me laugh in the van on the way to set with his jokes and comments and I only hope I have half his energy and focus when ‘Action’ was shouted.
“Thank you, Mark, and condolences to your family.”
Margolis’s agent Robert Atterman said: “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 humour who loved his family.
“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.”
He added: “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.”
Breaking Bad co-star Dean Norris, who played Hank Schrader, wrote on X (formerly known as Twitter): “So sad to hear Mark Margolis has died. A phenomenal actor. A funny guy. RIP.
“My thoughts are with his family.”
A statement posted on Breaking Bad’s official social media accounts said: “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.”