Ron Palillo (Horshack) RIP
The actor who gained fame as Arnold Dingfelder Horshack on the ABC sitcom Welcome Back Kotter has died at age 63. Ron Palillo, a heavy smoker, suffered a heart attack (Tues., Aug 14/12) at his home in Palm Beach, Florida and was rushed to hospital by his long time partner Joseph Gramm where he was pronounced dead.
Ron Palillo 1949-2012
Palillo was born in Connecticut and played several small supporting roles before landing a role on Kotter which aired from 1975 to 1979. It has been reported that he was not the only gay member of the cast. The show was based on the stand up routine of Gabe Kaplan and famously featured John Travolta. Palillo's castmate Robert Hegyes (Juan Epstein) passed away from a heart attack this past January.
Palillo's Horshack is among the top most-remembered TV/film nerds. It is a character difficult to play and even more difficult to overcome in a subsequent career. Palillo returned to his acting roots on stage to play several high profile parts on Broadway. In 2005 a play he wrote about the life of Peter Pan author J.M. Barrie called The Lost Boy premiered on The Great White Way.
Also an artist he provided art for 2 children's books, The Red Wings of Christmas and A Gift for the Contessa. Palillo had a small recurring role as himself on an Ellen sitcom in 1996.
In these remaining years he taught acting at the G-Star School of the Arts For Motion Pictures and Broadcasting in Palm Beach. RIP Ron Palillo. LEAVE COMMENTS.
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