‘Rockford Files’ actor Stuart Margolin dead at age 82

Veteran Hollywood actor Stuart Margolin, arguably most famous for his award-winning supporting role in the “Rockford Files” TV series, passed away on Monday, Breitbart reported.

The 82-year-old TV and movie star is reported to have died of natural causes while surrounded by family at his Staunton, Virginia home.

Beloved by his family

Fox News reported that Margolin’s death was first announced by his stepson, Max Martini, in an Instagram post that has since been deleted or hidden.

“The two most profound moments in my life,” Martini wrote, “the birth of my kids and being bedside as my step-father passed this morning. My mother, brother and I holding his hands. All the time in between birth and death, life, is up to us to fill with equally profound moments.”

“It made me realize how much time I’ve wasted on things that were never going to amount to anything. Just a profound realization I thought I’d share,” he added. “Love you Stuart Margolin. A great actor/writer/producer/director. But more importantly, a profoundly gifted step-father that was always there with love and support for his family. RIP Pappy. Keep ‘em cold.”

Extensive list of acting credits

Margolin was born in Davenport, Iowa in 1940 but grew up in Dallas, Texas before eventually moving to New York City to begin his acting career on Broadway, according to Breitbart.

He didn’t stay in the theater scene for very long, though, as he began to make appearances in various TV series and films in the early 1960s, with his first recurring roles being on “The Gertrude Berg Show” in 1961 and “Ensign O’Toole” in 1962.

According to his IMDb page, Margolin was credited with 123 appearances overall in movies and TV shows between 1961 and 2022, many of which were one-offs, though he did have repeated appearances in a handful of shows like “Love, American Style,” “Nichols,” “Bret Maverick,” “Mr. Smith,” “Mom P.I.,” and “Tom Stone.”

He also made brief appearances in hit shows like “The Fugitive,” “Bewitched,” “That Girl,” “The Partridge Family,” “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “Gunsmoke,” “M*A*S*H,” “Magnum P.I.,” “Hill Street Blues,” “Matlock,” “Touched by an Angel,” “30 Rock,” “NCIS,” and “The X-Files,” among many others.

Award-winning “Rockford Files” role

Margolin’s most famed role, without question, was on the “Rockford Files,” for which he won two Emmy Awards in the category of outstanding supporting actor in a drama series, according to Fox News.

Over the course of six seasons, Margolin ably portrayed the character of Evelyn “Angel” Martin, a conman who was friends with the main star Jim Rockford, played by legendary actor James Garner.

According to Variety, Margolin and Garner had become friends off-screen after working together on “Nichols,” which led to Garner asking NBC to cast Margolin in the “Rockford Files” program a few years later.

Margolin would go on to appear in 37 episodes of that show between 1974-1979, and he later reprised that role for another eight “Rockford Files” made-for-TV movies in the 1990s.

The late actor is survived by his wife, Pat, and four stepchildren: Max, Christopher, Michelle, and Arnold.