TV's 'Horshack' Dead at 63

Actor Ron Palillo of 'Welcome Back, Kotter' has heart attack

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 14, 2012 12:50 PM CDT

(Newser) – Aww. Horshack is dead at age 63. Actor Ron Palillo, who played "Arnold Horshack" on Welcome Back, Kotter in the 1970s, died this morning at his home, reports the Palm Beach Post. He hadn't been ill, and TMZ says he had a heart attack. Palillo's oddball character was one of the Sweathogs in Mr. Kotter's class, along with John Travolta's Vinnie Barbarino, of course. If Horshack had a catch phrase, it was probably his, "Ooh, ooh, ooh, Mr. Kotter!" as he raised his hand in class.

Palillo had been teaching acting classes the last few years in Palm Springs. “He just couldn’t have been more fun and intelligent or talented," a friend tells the Post. "He was an amazing human being."

Ron Palillo arrives at the TV Land Awards in 2008 in Santa Monica, Calif.
Ron Palillo arrives at the TV Land Awards in 2008 in Santa Monica, Calif.   (AP Photo/Mark Mainz)
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