The actor died on Thursday (August 3) following a short illness in New York City’s Mt. Sinai Hospital, as confirmed by his son Morgan.
In a post on Instagram, Cranston, who played Walter White opposite Margolis’ drug kingpin character Hector Salamanca in the AMC series, wrote: “I am very saddened today to learn of a friend’s passing.
“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.”
Cranston and Margolis also starred together in Showtime drama series Your Honor, where the latter played Carmine Conti in season two.
After Breaking Bad, Margolis reprised his role of Hector in spin-off Better Call Saul, which concluded after six seasons in 2022.
In a post on Twitter, Bob Odenkirk, who played Saul Goodman in both shows, wrote: “A powerful screen presence! 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.”
Michael Mando, who played Nacho Varga in Better Call Saul, wrote: “It is with such a heavy heart that I process your passing my friend… Mark, getting to know you over the seasons and years has been one of the most enriching experiences of my career.
“You’ve deepened my understanding of this art form – your no BS attitude has deepened my understanding of life and what matters. The very last thing you told me, before I exited the honey wagon in S6 was, ‘I really didn’t want to like your character… but I do.’ I can’t tell you how much that meant to me… You’re a legend and a strong, beautiful soul. I’m in tears and have no words but LOVE.”
Prior to Breaking Bad, Margolis was known for supporting roles in Scarface and Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. He also frequently collaborated with director Darren Aronofsky, appearing in six of his films including Pi, Requiem For A Dream, The Fountain, The Wrestler, Black Swan and Noah.
Margolis is survived by his son, wife Jacqueline, daughter-in-law Heide, and three grandchildren: Ben, Aidan and Henry.