Mike Batayeh, who played Gus' laundromat manager on Breaking Bad, passed away at the age of 52.
One of the reasons that Breaking Bad was one of the finest television series ever made is that it was filled, top-to-bottom, with amazing actors. While this includes big names like Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, and Giancarlo Esposito, even the smaller bit parts were played by amazing talents, including Mike Batayeh, who played Gus Fring’s laundromat manager. Sadly, Deadline reports that Batayeh passed away on June 1, dying in his sleep from a heart attack.
You may not immediately remember Mike Batayeh’s character unless you have already watched Breaking Bad multiple times. His character only appeared in three episodes, and it was a lowkey role that was still vitally important to the plot: as the character Dennis Markowski, he was the manager of Gus Fring’s Lavandería Brillante industrial laundromat. Of course, Gus Fring was a master of hiding in plain sight, and having a seemingly-legitimate laundromat in that particular location helped to provide ongoing cover for his ever-growing meth empire.
Unfortunately, Mike Batayeh’s character ends up paying for his part in this ambitious crime ring far earlier than most of its major players. By the end of Season 4, he is under the scrutiny of the DEA, and by Season 5, he is in prison and eventually appears ready to spill his guts about Gus Fring. At this point, he and nine other prisoners are killed in a plan designed by Walter White to eliminate those who might eventually be able to connect him with the various illegal activities he has been a part of.
Tragically, Mike Batayeh’s actual death comes all too early for the veteran character actor. He was only 52 when he died, and he will be deeply missed by the many fans of Breaking Bad and his family as well. And it was on Facebook that his family wrote that Batayeh “will be greatly missed by those who loved him and his great ability to bring laughter and joy to so many.”
One reason that Mike Batayeh had so many fans in life is that he was talented in many different areas. For example, he appeared on the big screen in movies like Don’t Mess With The Zohan and Detroit Unleaded, and on the small screen, he appeared in shows like The Shield, Everybody Loves Raymond, and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. And when he wasn’t busy impressing everyone as an actor, Batayeh was busy winning people over as an accomplished comedian who had performed in such major venues as the Comedy Store, Laugh Factory, and Gotham, and he once filmed a comedy special for Showtime Arabia in Dubai.
For those who wish to remember the inspiring life of Mike Batayeh, there will be a celebration of life service on June 16 at the Vermeulen-Sajewski Funeral Home in Plymouth MI, with visitation from 2 pm to 8 pm. A funeral service will be held at Risen Christ Lutheran Church the following day, with visitation beginning at 11 am and the service beginning at 12 pm. Whether you can attend in person or wish to mourn this talented actor in your own way, never forget that it’s always important to celebrate the lives of those who have brought us so much joy over the years.