RIP Hector Salamanca

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Hollywood Reporter - Mark Margolis, the journeyman actor who turned in a commanding performance as the vindictive drug runner Hector Salamanca, a man of few words and a bell, on Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, has died. He was 83. 

Margolis died Thursday at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City following a short illness, his son, actor and Knitting Factory Entertainment CEO Morgan Margolis, announced.

Margolis, who didn’t speak Spanish, made his first appearance as Hector “Tio” Salamanca on Vince Gilligan’s Breaking Bad in March 2009 on the second episode of the AMC drama’s second season. A onetime enforcer to Mexican crime boss Don Eladio (Steven Bauer), his character is paralyzed and only able to communicate using facial expressions and a brass service bell fastened to his wheelchair.

His body of work also included the films The Cotton Club (1984), The Secret of My Success (1987), 1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992), I Shot Andy Warhol (1996), Absolute Power (1997), The Thomas Crown Affair (1999), End of Days (1999), The Tailor of Panama (2001), Hardball (2001), Gone Baby Gone (2007), Defiance (2008) and Stand Up Guys (2012) and such TV shows as Santa Barbara, Law & Order, Californication, Person of Interest, American Horror Story and The Affair.

It's strange how a celebrity death can hit one person like a ton of bricks, but be a feather in the wind to someone else. It's a bizarre concept to think about- everyone you've ever known, seen, met, or observed will one day die. And some deaths will hit you harder than others. Sometimes someone famous dies and I am like "oh man that's a bummer" and don't think twice about it and then will see a HUGE outpour of support and be like "damn, I really didn't realize the impact that person had on the world". I guess there's just so many people, so many lanes, so many different corners of celebrity.

So I say that to say this one shook me a bit. If you don't know, I've watched Breaking Bad front to back…25 times? I don't know, something absurd like that. Like, way, way too many times, I am very aware. Is it weird my "comfort show" is Breaking Bad? I don't know, but because it is, I feel Hector has been an integral part of my life. He's such a great character, and so perfectly executed by Mark Margolis. He steals every scene he's in, and doesn't even say a word. It's probably as perfect as acting can get. Plus he can shit on cue, or so I'd like to believe.

He also stars in the best death scene in TV history (RIP Gus)



RIP to the legend.