Robert Hegyes, Played Epstein on ‘Kotter,’ Dies
Robert Hegyes, the actor best known for playing Jewish Puerto Rican student Juan Epstein on the 1970s TV show "Welcome Back Kotter" has died. He was 60.
The Flynn & Son Funeral Home in Fords, N.J., said it was informed of Hegyes' death Thursday by the actor's family.
A spokesman at JFK Medical Center in Edison, N.J., told the Star-Ledger newspaper that Hegyes, of Metuchen, arrived at the hospital Thursday morning in full cardiac arrest and died.
I was a huge fan of "Welcome Back Kotter" and was thinking, I wonder what my old sweathog doll, um action figure, is worth.
Hegyes was appearing on Broadway in 1975 when he auditioned for "Kotter," a TV series about a teacher who returns to the inner-city New York school of his youth to teach a group of irreverent remedial students nicknamed the "Sweathogs." They included the character Vinnie Barbarino, played by John Travolta.
The show's theme song, performed by John Sebastian, became a pop hit.
Hegyes also appeared on many other TV series, including "Cagney & Lacey."