Stuart Margolin
Margolin as Evelyn "Angel" Martin on The Rockford Files
Born(1940-01-31)January 31, 1940
DiedDecember 12, 2022(2022-12-12) (aged 82)
  • Actor
  • director
  • screenwriter
Years active1961–2022
Spouse(s)Patricia Dunne Martini
(m. 1982)
Children3 (stepchildren)

Stuart Margolin (January 31, 1940 – December 12, 2022)[1] was an American film, theater, and television actor and director who won two Emmy Awards for playing Evelyn "Angel" Martin on the 1970s television series The Rockford Files. In 1973, he appeared on Gunsmoke as an outlaw. The next year he played an important role in Death Wish, giving Charles Bronson his first gun. In 1981, Margolin portrayed the character of Philo Sandeen in a recurring role as a Native American tracker in the 1981–1982 television series, Bret Maverick.

Early life

Margolin was born January 31, 1940, in Davenport, Iowa, to Morris and Gertrude Kalina Margolin but spent much of his childhood in Dallas, Texas, where he learned to golf.[2]

Margolin stated that he led a "hoodlum" childhood, was kicked out of Texas public schools, and was sent by his parents to a boarding school in Tennessee. While he attended that school, his family moved to Scottsdale, Arizona. When Margolin was released from reform school and moved back with his family, he decided to move back, on his own, to see his friends in Dallas. His parents made arrangements for him to attend a private school there.[3]

Television and film

Margolin played the recurring character Evelyn "Angel" Martin, the shifty friend and former jailmate of Jim Rockford (James Garner) on The Rockford Files, whose various cons and schemes usually got Rockford in hot water.[citation needed] Margolin was earlier paired with Garner in the Western series Nichols (1971–72), in which he played a character somewhat similar to the Angel character in The Rockford Files. That show lasted for only one season.[citation needed]

At times Rockford would pay Angel to "hit the streets" and discover information that would help solve a case. Margolin won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for this role, in 1979 and 1980;[4] he is one of only five actors to win this award twice for the same role.[5]

In 1969, Margolin wrote and co-produced The Ballad of Andy Crocker, an ABC television movie that was one of the first films to deal with the subject matter of Vietnam veterans "coming home".[6] He also co-wrote the title song and had an uncredited cameo in the film. Margolin had an uncredited role as the Station Wagon Driver in Heroes,[citation needed] another story about Vietnam veterans dealing with what we now refer to as PTSD.

Margolin played Rabbi David Small in the 1976 movie, Lanigan's Rabbi, based on the series of mystery novels written by Harry Kemelman. Scheduling conflicts prevented him from continuing the role in the short-lived TV series of the same name that aired in 1977 as part of The NBC Sunday Mystery Movie, in which the character was played by actor Bruce Solomon.[citation needed]

Margolin appeared in episodes of the television series M*A*S*H ("Bananas, Crackers and Nuts" and "Operation Noselift"); The Partridge Family ("Go Directly to Jail" and "A Penny for His Thoughts"); That Girl; The Mary Tyler Moore Show; Rhoda; Land of the Giants; Twelve O'Clock High; The Monkees; Love, American Style (in which he was a member of the Love American Style Players; his brother Arnold Margolin was the executive producer of the series); The Fall Guy; Magnum, P.I.; Hill Street Blues (as bookmaker Andy Sedita in the consecutive episodes "Hacked to Pieces" and "Seoul on Ice");[7] and Touched by an Angel. In May 2009, Margolin appeared on an episode of 30 Rock, opposite Alan Alda;[8] it was the first time the two actors appeared together since Margolin's appearance on M*A*S*H in 1974.[citation needed]

In Canada, Margolin appeared in the 2009 CTV/CBS police drama series The Bridge.[9][10] Margolin appeared as bail jumper Stanley Wescott in the episode "The Overpass" (Season 5 Episode 2; 2013) of the Canadian CBC Television series Republic of Doyle, which itself was inspired by The Rockford Files.[11] While not a wholesale recreation of the Angel Martin character, the Stanley Wescott role sported many similar attributes.[12] The episode also featured Margolin's stepson, Max Martini, in the role of Big Charlie Archer.[citation needed]

Margolin appeared in such feature films including Kelly's Heroes, Death Wish, Futureworld, The Big Bus, and S.O.B.[citation needed]


Margolin directed TV shows since the early 1970s, including episodes of The Mary Tyler Moore Show; Sara; The Love Boat; Magnum, P.I.; Bret Maverick; Quantum Leap; Wonder Woman; and Northern Exposure.[citation needed]

In addition to acting in the original and 1990s TV movie versions of The Rockford Files, Margolin also directed some episodes: "Dirty Money, Black Light" (1977), "Caledonia – It's Worth a Fortune!" (1974), "The Rockford Files: Friends and Foul Play" (1996), "The Rockford Files: If It Bleeds... It Leads" (1998).[citation needed]

He won the 1996 DGA Award for children's programming for directing the film Salt Water Moose,[citation needed] and he was nominated again for the same award for directing the 1998 film, The Sweetest Gift.[citation needed] He was also nominated for a DGA Award for drama series direction for a 1991 episode of Northern Exposure entitled "Goodbye to All That".[13] He directed, co-starred and scored The Glitter Dome (1984) for HBO Pictures.[citation needed]


This section relies largely or entirely on a single source. Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page. Please help improve this article by introducing citations to additional sources.Find sources: "Stuart Margolin" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (February 2018)

Margolin wrote several songs for and with longtime friend and singer-songwriter Jerry Riopelle that have appeared on Riopelle's albums since 1967. Margolin was first associated with Riopelle's late 1960s band the Parade, co-writing many of their songs and playing percussion on various tracks. He and Riopelle (along with Shango member Tommy Reynolds) co-wrote Shango's 1969 Caribbean-flavored novelty record "Day After Day (It's Slippin' Away)",[14] which hit No. 57 on the U.S. charts and No. 39 in Canada.

Margolin had tracks he co-wrote covered by R. B. Greaves and Gary Lewis and the Playboys in 1968–69. Margolin's frequent songwriting partner Jerry Riopelle established a long-running solo career beginning in 1971; Riopelle released 8 albums between 1971 and 1982, every one of which contained at least one song (often more) written or co-written by Margolin. In turn, Margolin released a solo album in 1980, And the Angel Sings, which featured his interpretations of a number of Margolin and/or Riopelle compositions previously recorded by Riopelle.

Starting in 2004, he was a regular participant in the theater program of the Chautauqua Institution.[15]

Personal life and death

He married Patricia Dunne Martini in 1982. He had three stepchildren: actor Max Martini, costume designer Michelle Martini and editor/ producer/ director Christopher Martini.[16]

He was the younger brother of Emmy-winning director/producer/writer Arnold Margolin, both of them lived in Lewisburg, West Virginia,[3] and acted together there in a professional community theater production of Laughter on the 23rd Floor.[17]

Margolin had frequently been misidentified as the brother of actress Janet Margolin (1943–1993);[18][19] the two were not related, although they appeared together as husband and wife in the pilot for the 1977 TV series Lanigan's Rabbi.[citation needed]

Margolin, his wife and stepchildren lived on Salt Spring Island in British Columbia, Canada for twenty two years.[20]

According to stepdaughter Michelle Martini, Margolin had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer a decade earlier. He died in Staunton, Virginia, on December 12, 2022.[21]

Selected filmography

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  1. ^ Barnes, Mike. "Stuart Margolin, Emmy-Winning Actor on 'The Rockford Files,' Dies at 82". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 12, 2022.
  2. ^ Obituary, Accessed December 14, 2022.
  3. ^ a b "Stuart Margolin: A Road Less Traveled". Greenbrier Valley Quarterly. February 10, 2018. Archived from the original on March 5, 2022. Retrieved March 12, 2019.
  4. ^ Advanced Primetime Awards Search at Academy of Television Arts and Sciences website; retrieved April 18, 2009.
  5. ^ Tom O'Neil, "Drama supporting actors prove Emmy winners not always TV reruns", Los Angeles Times, July 13, 2010.
  6. ^ Jeremy M. Devine, Vietnam at 24 Frames a Second: A Critical and Thematic Analysis of Over 400 Films about the Vietnam War (University of Texas Press, 1999); ISBN 978-0292716018, p. 57. Excerpts available at Google Books.
  7. ^ "Hill Street Blues (6th Season Episode Guide)". Retrieved March 12, 2019.
  8. ^ Alan Sepinwall, "30 Rock, "Mamma Mia": Alan Alda is the Donaghy daddy?", The Star-Ledger, May 8, 2009; retrieved May 19, 2009.
  9. ^ "Flashpoint pipeline brings The Bridge to CBS". HitFix. Archived from the original on August 11, 2010. Retrieved December 22, 2015.
  10. ^ Mary McNamara, "Television Review: 'The Bridge' on CBS", Los Angeles Times, July 10, 2010.
  11. ^ "Detectives who aren't that smart –". Retrieved March 12, 2019.
  12. ^ " Review". Amazon. Retrieved March 11, 2019.
  13. ^ "DGA Announces 1998 Nominees For Outstanding Directorial Achievement In Documentary And TV Categories Of Daytime Serials And Children's Programs",, February 8, 1999. Retrieved January 4, 2009.
  14. ^ Jerry Osborne,"Prominent albums make comeback", Evansville Courier & Press, January 1, 2007; retrieved January 7, 2009.
  15. ^ Sharon Cantilon, "The Secret's Out: Chautauqua Institution's theater program is gaining national attention, thanks in part to actor Stuart Margolin", Buffalo News, June 22, 2008; retrieved January 4, 2009.
  16. ^ Obituary, Accessed December 14, 2022.
  17. ^ REPORTER, Pamela Pritt REGISTER-HERALD (July 5, 2015). "Margolin Brothers to star in GVT production of Laughter on the 23rd Floor". Beckley Register-Herald. Retrieved March 12, 2019.
  18. ^ "Janet Margolin, Film And TV Actress, 50", New York Times, December 18, 1993.
  19. ^ "Benjamin Margolin", New York Times, July 29, 1982.
  20. ^ "A Second Time Around with one of B.C.'s better angels, Stuart Margolin". Georgia Straight. March 22, 2017. Retrieved October 18, 2020.
  21. ^ Obituary Accessed December 15, 2022.