“Breaking Bad” has lost one of their own. Mike Batayeh, who was known on the award-winning AMC as the manager of Gustavo’s laundromat died June 1st in his sleep. The cause of death has been determined as a heart attack.
Gustavo’s laundromat was famous for being the place Walter White and Jesse Pinkman made most of their drugs.
The hugely popular AMC series ran from 2008 to 2013 and is considered one of the best television series in history, with an almost unheard-of 96% score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Batayeh portrayed Dennis Markowski, and though he only appeared in three episodes between 2011 and 2012, he is remembered for how and why his character met his fate.
The DEA comes to the laundromat at the end of season 4 to search the building for possible drugs. Batayah’s character initially declines a search but eventually relents and is busted.
Breaking Bad actor, Mike Batayeh, has died at 52.
Batayeh — who was best known for his role of Dennis Markowski, the man in charge of Gustavo’s laundromat in Breaking Bad — died on June 1, according to his obituary.
His rep tells PEOPLE that he died in his sleep at his Michigan… pic.twitter.com/lD6apfdLZK
— Luther ‘Ćyrus’ (@Censored4sure) June 10, 2023
At the beginning of season 5 Batayeh’s character is in prison, and after losing his attorney gets represented by a public defender. The defender reveals that his client is going to cooperate for immunity. Upon learning of this, Walter White orders his murder, and he is burned alive in his prison cell. A memorable, if not gruesome ending.
“Breaking Bad” wasn’t Mr. Batayeh’s only acting credit. He made appearances in “Sleeper Cell” “Night Stalker” “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” “The Bernie Mac Show” as well as “Everybody Loves Raymond.”
The Detroit native also worked as a stand-up comedian.
Being of Arab-American descent, Batayeh was groundbreaking in terms of Middle Eastern comedy. His obituary elaborates:
“Mike was part of the first wave of western comics to perform for local audiences in the Middle East in such places as Dubai, where he filmed a comedy special for Showtime Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, where he was invited 2 years in a row by the royal family for the Amman International Comedy Festival and Nazareth.”
The Middle East was unprecedented territory for western comics, and still remains a major accomplishment that Batayeh was permitted to perform, and had success there.
His obituary continued: “Over the course of the past three decades, he achieved great success around the globe and established himself as a hilarious professional comedian, screenwriter, actor and tabla musician. He was a kind, sensitive, intelligent, and gifted soul. This is such a devastating loss of a huge life and Mike will be missed by us and so many people in all parts of the world.”
Mike Batayeh was much more than a fringe character that met a fiery death on “Breaking Bad.” He was a talented comedian that was able to bring western comedy to the Middle East and a funny guy. Condolences to Mr. Batayeh’s family.
Take a look at one of Batayeh’s old routines below.
Featured image: Screen shot from embedded video.
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