Mike Batayeh, who Breaking Bad fans came to know as the manager at Gustavo’s infamous laundromat, has died. TMZ reports that the 52-year-old actor, who appeared in three episodes of the show from 2011 to 2012, died on June 1 at his Michigan home after suffering a heart attack while sleeping. His sister tells TMZ that the death was sudden and unexpected, as he had no history of heart problems.
He was a popular comedian who also had a successful career on TV, with guest and recurring roles on shows like Everybody Loves Raymond and The Shield, as well as appearances in films including Detroit Unleaded, American Dreams, Gas, and Don’t Mess With the Zohan. He also did voice work, with credits on everything from X-Men: Days of Future Past to Boy Meets World and the sitcom It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
Throughout his career, Batayeh performed at prestigious comedy clubs around the country, including the Comedy Store and Improv in Los Angeles and Gotham in New York City. He was a regular on the comedy show Laugh Factory and was also part of one of the first groups of Western comics to perform for regional audiences in the Middle East, appearing in cities like Dubai.
Batayeh grew up in a small town in Michigan and worked as a mechanic before beginning his acting career. He appeared in a variety of minor and supporting roles before he was cast on the hit AMC series Breaking Bad as Dennis Markowski, the manager of Lavandera Brillante, an industrial laundry business that Walter White (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) used as a cover for their meth lab. The role pushed him to stardom, and Batayeh became a beloved character among Breaking Bad fans.
As news of his death spread, many fans took to social media to pay their respects. One user wrote: “So sad to hear of Mike Batayeh passing. He was a great guy and very talented. Rest in peace.”
Other users remembered him for his humour. “You made us laugh so much with your dry humor. I’ll miss you,” wrote another user.
In his final Instagram post, he shared a clip of himself on a stand-up set, which had the crowd in stitches. He will be missed by all those who knew and loved him.