Ron Palillo, Arnold Horshack on 'Kotter,' Dies at 63

Actor Ron Palillo, the nerdy high-school student Arnold Horshack with the trademark scream "Ooh-ooh-ooooh" on the 1970s sitcom "Welcome Back, Kotter," died Tuesday in Florida. He was 63.

Ron Palillo (Arnold Horshack)
Source: ABC Photo Archive
Ron Palillo (Arnold Horshack)

Palillo died early Tuesday in Palm Beach Gardens of an apparent heart attack, according to Karen Poindexter, a friend.

His death came seven months after that of fellow cast member Robert Hegyes, who portrayed Juan Epstein and died in January at age 60.

The ABC show captured the antics of an unruly group of remedial high school students known as "sweathogs," and their wise-cracking teacher Gabe Kotter, played by comedian Gabe Kaplan, who is 67. It also starred John Travolta.

Though Travolta went on to fame, Palillo struggled to expand beyond his role as Horshack.

Of Horshack, Palillo once told an interviewer from the Birmingham News: "While I loved him, I really loved him, I didn't want to do him forever."


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