According to a statement from management associate Henry Eshelman that USA TODAY was able to get, the actor passed away on Thursday at New York's Mount Sinai Hospital "following a short illness."
He was unique in every way. His longtime manager, Robert Kolker, declared in a statement that "we won't see his likes again." He was a beloved customer and a devoted friend. I had the fortune to meet him.
In addition to playing countless parts on theater and cinema, Margolis made his Hollywood debut in the 1983 film "Scarface" as the evil bodyguard Alberto the Shadow. He gained notoriety more recently for his role as the menacing Hector "Tio" Salamanca in the television series "Breaking Bad" and its prequel sequel, "Better Call Saul."
One of the most recognizable and menacing villains in the series was Salamanca, a drug kingpin in a wheelchair who had a stroke and could only communicate by ringing a bell.
Margolis said on the Better Call Saul Insider Podcast last year, "Oh my, I don't have to learn any lines. I looked at the script." "I just need to take a plane to New Mexico, arrive there, and reflect. It was heaven to me.
Other noteworthy credits include Darren Aronofsky's several tragedies, such as "Pi," "Requiem for a Dream," and "Black Swan," as well as the Jim Carrey comedy "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective." He most recently featured alongside "Breaking Bad" co-star Bryan Cranston in the Showtime series "Your Honor" earlier this year.
"There are three guys a day that stop me, and the only thing they know me from is 'Scarface,'" Margolis said to Vulture in 2016. "I'm usually like, 'My God, you're talking about stuff from 30 years ago. Then they inevitably follow up by asking, "Well, have you done anything since then?" This truly irritates me. You get the impression that they retired you for some reason. I shouldn't feel pain, but I'm a little crazy right now. The word would probably be insecure.
On November 26, 1939, Margolis was born in Philadelphia. He relocated to New York as a young man to pursue acting studies at the Actors Studio with Stella Adler, then with Lee Strasberg and Barbara Loden.
His 61-year-old wife Jacqueline, son Morgan, and three grandchildren are all left behind.