Ron Palillo, Horshack From 'Welcome Back, Kotter,' Dies At Age 63
Ron Palillo, 63, died Tuesday morning at his home in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. at the age of 63. He was best known for playing Arnold Horshack in the quintessential '70s ABC series, Welcome Back, Kotter, which ran from 1975 to 1979 and also famously starred John Travolta before his Grease, Saturday Night Fever, and even The Boy in the Plastic Bubble days.
Palillo had moved to Florida, where he remained active in theater and taught acting at a charter school for the arts, to be close to his mother, according to CNN. Palillo's death, reportedly from a heart attack, was sudden, according to his friend and agent, Scott Stander, who described Palillo as "upbeat, fun, a great friend who loved theater, loved the fans and had a great sense of humor."
Palillo's "Sweathog" costar, Robert Hegyes, who played Juan Epstein on Welcome Back, Kotter, died earlier this year at the age of 60, also of an apparent heart attack.
Comedian Rain Pryor, 43, daughter of Richard Pryor, took to Twitter to express her condolences. "RIP Ron Palillo — Horshack," she tweeted. "I used to impersonate him on stage when my dad or mom performed stand up. I was 5."
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