Friday, August 4, 2023

RIP Mark Margolis

RIP to the actor best known to me as Hector Salamanca on Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. Margolis died yesterday at the age of 83.
However, Margolis's career extended way beyond the Albuquerque crime world created by Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould. He studied under Stella Adler and Lee Strasberg, and appeared in more than fifty Broadway and Off-Broadway shows. In the 1970's he began working in film and television and amassed an amazing resume over the years. Films he appeared in included Scarface, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, I Shot Andy Warhol, The Thomas Crown Affair, Requiem for a Dream, Hannibal, Gone Baby Gone, Black Swan, and My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2.

His television appearances are even more impressive and include Kojak, Crime Story, The Equalizer, Quantum Leap, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Law & Order, The Practice, Oz, Crossing Jordan, Californication, Blue Bloods, The Good Wife, American Horror Story, Elementary, Gotham, The Affair, The Blacklist, and most recently Brian Cranston's series Your Honor. Seriously, scroll through this guy's imdb entry - it's really amazing. Hell of a career.
In his Emmy-nominated performance as former cartel kingpin Hector "Tio" Salamanca in Breaking Bad, Margolis was playing a once-powerful man now confined, speechless, to a wheelchair, communicating through the dings of a bell. Then, about five years later, he appeared on Better Call Saul as a younger, able-bodied version of himself (despite being well into his seventies) leading up to the explanation of how he ended up a shell of his former self. Having to perform so much of Hector's existence with nothing more than a bell and twisted, frustrated facial expressions, he still gave a compelling performance that was summed up by a comment on the Deadline article linked above: 

Rest in peace, sir.

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