True lovers of the 70s classic “The Rockford Files” will recall Stuart Margolin as Evelyn “Angel” Martin, co-starring alongside James Garner in his role of Jim Rockford. He was even awarded two Emmy awards in recognition of his portrayal in the category best-supporting actor!

At the age of 82, Stuart passed away due to natural causes. Though he was diagnosed with cancer 10 years prior, his family claims that it wasn’t what caused his demise. His step-son Max Martini wrote a heartfelt tweet in tribute to him: “The two most profound moments in my life… the birth of my kids and being bedside as my step-father passed this morning. My mother, brother and I holding his hands.”

Stuart’s memory is being kept alive by his beloved wife Patricia Margolin, and her three children whom he lovingly treated as his own: Michelle Martini, Max Martini, and Christopher Martini.

Stuart and Patricia’s paths intertwined in high school, when Stuart stood trial for attempting to flee his home at 14 years old. At the time, teens were sentenced by their peers- so who was appointed as his judge? None other than Patricia herself! After reviewing the case carefully, she found him guilty.

Not long after their initial chance encounter, Stuart and Patricia unexpectedly ran into one another at a dance. They both eventually wed other people yet each ended up divorcing those individuals around the same time–which ultimately sparked the flame of their romance again. Afterward, they were blissfully married for four decades until his passing away; as Patrica expressed to USA Today: Stuart was “the love of my life all my life.”

USA Today reported Michelle, Stuart’s stepdaughter, as saying, “He was one of the most generous people I’ve ever met.” She added, “He really took my brothers and myself, and he made a family for us, and he changed our lives in so many ways. And he was an amazing husband to my mother.”

In addition to heartfelt tributes from Stuart’s family, friends and colleagues have taken to social media in sharing fond memories of him.

Stuart’s career spanned far beyond his definitive role as Angel on “The Rockford Files.” He left an indelible mark in countless shows and movies, including “The Gertrude Berg Show,” “Occasional Wife,” and the beloved classic “That Girl.” Other credits include: “Nichols,” “Gunsmoke,” “MASH,” and more recently a voiceover role in the short film HOME released earlier this year. Stuart also reprised his signature character of Angel in multiple “Rockford Files” TV movies in the 1990s.

Check out Stuart in action as Angel on an episode of “The Rockford Files” with the video below. Enjoy!