Entries in Welcome Back Kotter (3)


Ron Palillo, "Welcome Back Kotter's" Arnold Horshack, Dead at 63

Bobby Bank/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- Ron Palillo, who played Arnold Horshack on Welcome Back Kotter, has died, according to The Palm Beach Post.  He was 63.

Friends tell the paper that Palillo passed away at his home in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Tuesday morning.

TMZ reports that Pallilo died of a heart attack. According to the site, he was found by his partner of many years, Joseph Gramm, early Tuesday morning.  Gramm called an ambulance, and the actor was rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Palillo’s death comes just months after Bobby Hegyes, who played Juan Epstein on the show, passed away earlier this year.

Palillo's Horshack was one of the most memorable characters on Welcome Back Kotter, thanks to his catchphrase "Ooh, ooh!  Mr. Kotter!" and his distinctive, hyena-like laugh.  

After Kotter, Palillo had other supporting TV roles, provided the voice for some animated shows such as Darkwing Duck, and in 1996, he played himself in a few episodes of the TV show Ellen.  He also created the artwork for two children's books, and appeared onstage in productions of Amadeus and Guys and Dolls.  His first play, The Lost Boy, was produced in 2005.

In recent years, Palillo had been a teacher at the G-Star School of the Arts for Motion Pictures and Broadcasting.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Bobby Hegyes, Epstein of 'Welcome Back Kotter' Fame, Dead at 60

L-R: 'Sweathogs' Robert Hegyes, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs and Ron Palillo examine a film projector in a still from the television series, 'Welcome Back Kotter,' circa 1977. ABC Television/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Robert "Bobby" Hegyes, best known for playing Juan Epstein on Welcome Back Kotter, died in his Metuchen, N.J. home Thursday.  He was 60.

Hegyes' brother told New Jersey's Star-Ledger that Hegyes, who also starred on Cagney and Lacey, had suffered a heart attack a few years ago and was in poor health.  Police responded to a call for assistance at his home Thursday morning.  They found Hegyes suffering from chest pains; he was taken to a hospital in Edison, N.J., but by the time he reached the emergency room, he went into full cardiac arrest and died, a hospital spokesman told the paper.

Hegyes wrote in a note on his website that he modeled the character of the scheming half-Jewish, half-Puerto Rican Epstein on Chico Marx, noting that all the Marx Brothers were both "intellectuals" and "juvenile delinquents," adding, "I could definitely relate."

He continued to act after that show and Cagney and Lacey, appearing on NewsRadio, Diagnosis Murder and The Drew Carey Show.  He also appeared in the movie Bob Roberts opposite Tim Robbins, taught acting and wrote screenplays.  He, along with almost all the original cast members of Welcome Back Kotter, reunited last year at the TV Land Awards to mark the show's 35th anniversary.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


TV Land Awards Air Sunday Night

Michael Loccisano/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The ninth annual TV Land Awards will air on the cable network this Sunday at 9:00 p.m. Eastern time.

The ceremony, which was taped in New York City last weekend, honored the cast of The Cosby Show with the Impact Award, the cast of The Facts of Life with the Pop Culture Award, the cast of Family Ties with the Fan Favorite Award, and the cast of Welcome Back, Kotter with the 35th Anniversary Award.

In addition, Regis Philbin received the Legend Award, and Daryl Hall and John Oates each picked up the Music Icon Award.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio