Tue 14 Aug, 2012 05:15 pm
Ron Palillo, of 'Welcome Back, Kotter,' dies at 63
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.—Ron Palillo, the actor best known as the nerdy high school student Arnold Horshack
on the 1970s sitcom "Welcome Back, Kotter," died Tuesday in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. He was 63.
Palillo suffered an apparent heart attack at his home about 4 a.m., said Karen Poindexter, a close friend of
the actor. He was pronounced dead at Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center.
Palillo was inextricably linked with the character he played from 1975 to 1979 on "Kotter," the hit ABC sitcom,
in which title character Gabe Kotter returns to his Brooklyn alma mater to teach a group of loveable wiseguys
known as the Sweathogs. Horshack was the nasally teen who yelped, "Oooh, ooh," and shot his hand skyward
whenever Kotter posed a question.
The show was a ratings success and pop cultural phenomenon, injecting smart-Alec phrases such as "Up your
nose with a rubber hose" into the mainstream and propelling co-star John Travolta to stardom. But the series
only lasted as long as a high school education and its end, for Palillo, brought difficulty.
I loved that show and the whole Sweathog bunch.
Oh Oh Oh Mr. Kotter! RIP Ron. I use to watch the old reruns when I was a kid!
He is survived by his partner of 41 years, Joseph Gramm, a retired actor.