Actor Ron Palillo, who died early Tuesday morning of heart attack at age 63, will be remembered by a generation of Americans as Arnold Horshack, the whiny-voiced lovable loser he played on the hit ABC sitcom, “Welcome Back, Kotter,” from 1975 to 1979.
On January 27 this year Robert Hegyes, an actor whose Jewish-Puerto Rican character Juan Epstein was one of the Sweathogs on the 1970s TV sitcom "Welcome Back, Kotter," also passed away of a heart attack in New Jersey. He was 60.
Welcome Back Kotter was one of my favorite sitcoms from the late 70s. I loved the combination of ethnic characters and the portrayal of what it must have been like to have been schooled in inner city New York. It was interesting to note that both Ron and Robert suffered heart attacks, and were both in their 60s. May they both ... rest in peace! I'm guessing we can probably look forward to seeing some reruns in the near future. ~nrl