Vincent Margera, better known as Don “Vito” Margera, died today at age 59. He was best known for his appearances in the Jackass movies and the MTV show Viva La Bam, and as the uncle of reality star and skater Bam Margera.
Last month, the Huffington Post reported that Don Vito was suffering from severe organ failure that left him in a coma, including acute kidney failure. He was rushed to the hospital from his Pennsylvania home where he remained in a coma for days. Although physicians warned the family that his prognosis was grim, the former reality show star eventually woke up and began making phone calls from his hospital room. Prior to him waking up, Bam Margera took to Twitter to ask for prayers for his uncle.
Everyone send positive vibes Don Vito's way today. He's in the hospital right now and he's having a… http://t.co/noE0LRzwOc— Bam Margera (@BAM__MARGERA) November 18, 2014
Don Vito was a known partier, coupled with a dark side of allegations of groping teenage girls. In 2007, he was ordered to 10 years probation after he was found guilty on two counts of sexual assault on a child after he inappropriately touched two teens at an autograph signing in Colorado. He became irate after hearing the verdict and began yelling “just kill me now” and throwing himself on the floor. He was so out of control that a paramedic was dispatched to the courtroom to help him with breathing problems. The following is according to court documents.
” [Vincent Margera] fell or threw himself backwards and hit the ground, making a loud noise, causing some furniture to fly.”
Although his attorney argued that Don Vito was simply staying within his character that he portrays on television, a jury thought differently after hearing the evidence. In addition to probation, Jefferson County District Judge M.J. Menendez ordered Don Vito to refrain from any autograph signings, book offers, or making any television appearances. He was also required to register as a sex offender, seek counseling for alcohol problems, and undergo a mental health evaluation.
Despite his troubled past, Don Vito gained numerous fans during his time on Jackass and later, on Viva La Bam, a reality show featuring his nephew Bam and other family members. Don Vito’s signature gibberish talk and outlandish outbursts won him many laughs, cheers, and urges to carry on with his behavior.
Don Vito’s appeared on the reality show alongside Bam’s father, Phil Margera, and April Margera, Bam’s mother. Bam and his crew of friends catapulted the show to success for two seasons by playing pranks on family members, including Don Vito, who gained the reputation of a being hot head due to his reactions.
Sadly, Don Vito isn’t the only Jackass and Viva La Bam star who passed away. In 2011, Ryan Dunn, who appeared numerous times on Viva La Bam and the Jackass movies and shows, was killed in a car accident. Bam Margera thought of him as a best friend, and during an interview after Dunn’s death, he broke down and recalled he began punching windows around the time of his friend’s accident.
“I’ve never lost anybody that I care about. He had so much talent and he had so many things going for him. At 12:30, I just started punching out the windows of the rental van and ripping out the speakers, and I don’t even know why. I wasn’t mad at anything or anybody, and if it’s 12:30 there, that means that it was exactly when he crashed.”
Fox 8 Cleveland reports that April Margera confirmed that Don Vito died at around 6:45 a.m on Sunday morning.
[Photo Courtesy of Evan Agostini / Getty Images]