Stuart Margolin, an Emmy Award-winning actor from “The Rockford Files,” has passed away. He was 82.
On Wednesday, his stepdaughter Michelle Martini told USA TODAY that the actor died on Monday, a decade after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
“It just got to the point where it was too difficult to fight (the cancer),” she explained.
Martini recalled Margolin’s influence on her family. In 1982, the actor married her mother, Patricia Margolin, and became the stepfather of her and her brothers, Max and Christopher.
“He was one of the most generous people I’d ever met,” said Martini. “He truly took my brothers and me in and made us a family, and he changed our lives in so many ways. And he was a wonderful husband to my mother.”
Patricia told USA TODAY about her “lifelong romance” with Margolin, which began when they were teenagers and met in juvenile court. Margolin was on trial for fleeing his home and attempting to live on his own at the age of 14. Patricia, who was also a teen at the time, was assigned to judge the case as part of a criminal justice reform initiative that aimed to have juveniles with minor cases evaluated by their peers.
“I was a juvenile judge, and I found him guilty and referred him to the Dallas Police Department,” Patricia, who also worked in law enforcement, explained. “That’s how we got together.”
Patricia and Margolin met again at a dance not long after their court date, “and that’s how the romance started,” she said. Despite marrying other people, they divorced around the same time and rekindled their relationship.
They recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary.
“He was the love of my life my entire life,” Patricia explained.
Margolin’s career spanned nearly six decades, beginning in 1961 with “The Gertrude Berg Show” and ending in 2022 as a voice actor in the short film “Home,” according to IMDb.