HomeAmerican EntertainmentPeopleStuart Margolin, ‘The Rockford Files’ Actor, Dead at 82

Stuart Margolin, ‘The Rockford Files’ Actor, Dead at 82

by Taylor Cunningham
(Photo by CBS via Getty Images)

Emmy-winning actor Stuart Margolin, who is best known for his role in The Rockford Files, passed away on Dec. 12. He was 82.

His stepson, Pacific Rim star Max Martini, announced the news in an Instagram post.

“The two most profound moments in my life… the birth of my kids and being bedside as my step-father passed this morning. My mother, brother, and I holding his hands” he began before adding that the “profoundly gifted” actor “was always there with love and support for his family.”

“All the time in between birth and death, life, is up to us to fill with equally profound moments. Anyway, 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 continued.

“Love you, Stuart Margolin. A great actor/writer/producer/director,” he concluded.”…RIP Pappy. Keep ‘em cold.” 

Max did not share a cause of death in his post. But his brother, director Christopher Martini, later told The Hollywood Reporter, that Margolin died in Staunton, Virginia, of natural causes.

Stuart Margolin Earned Two Emmys While Starring in ‘The Rockford Files’

Stuart Margolin began working in film and TV when he was only 21 years old and continued through 2022. His debut role came in The Gertrude Berg Show, and he quickly moved into guest spots on major classic TV series such as Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre, The Fugitive, Bewitched, and M*A*S*H.

The actor’s biggest fame, however, came from The Rockford Files franchise. Margolin earned two Emmys, one in 1979 and the other in 1980, while playing Angel Martin, the loveable con man and former jailmate of James Garner’s Jim Rockford.

Margolin starred in 37 episodes of the original series, and he returned for eight subsequent made-for-TV movies.

The actor also spent much of his career in the director’s chair. Over the course of five decades, he helmed 58 movies and series. In 1987, he even earned an Outstanding Directing in a Variety or Music Program Emmy nod for his work on The Tracey Ullman Show.

Aside from his stepsons, Max and Christopher Martini, Stuart Margolin was also survived by his wife, Patricia Dunne Martini, and a stepdaughter, Michelle Martini.

This is a developing story…