Pop Culture

RIP Ron Palillo: Another Sweathog Bites the Dust

Actor Ron Palillo, best known for his role as Arnold Horshack on ABC's Welcome Back, Kotter in the the late '70s, has passed away after a heart attack. The smallest and most inquisitive Sweathog in the cast, he was only 63 years old.

Earlier this year Robert Hegyes, who played Juan Epstein on the sitcom, died at the age of 60, also due to heart attack.

The rest of the cast, including Gabe "Mr. Kotter" Kaplan, John "Vinnie Barbarino" Travolta, Marcia "Mrs. Kotter" Strassman and Lawrence "Freddie 'Boom Boom' Washington" Hilton-Jacobs are very much alive and being sued for sexual harassment. Okay, only Travolta, but the point is that they are alive.

Oddly enough, Kaplan was only five or six years older than most of his sitcom students during the run of the show.

After Kotter, Palillo had a long and varied career as an occasional guest-star on shows like The Love Boat, The A-Team, Murder, She Wrote and One Life to Live, as well as popping up at Kotter reunion events.

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Craig Hlavaty
Contact: Craig Hlavaty