Actor Ron Palillo, best known for portraying the oddball class clown Arnold Horshack on the late-1970s sitcom “Welcome Back, Kotter,” has died at the age of 63 of an apparent heart attack, reports TMZ.
A source close to the actor says he passed away early Tuesday morning (Aug. 14) at his Palm Beach-area home. Reportedly Palillo was found by his longtime partner Joseph Gramm around 4 a.m. and was rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
“Welcome Back Kotter” was Palillo’s big break. After it ended in 1979, he went on to have some smaller parts on “Laverne and Shirley” and “The Love Boat,” then ended up doing a lot of voiceover work. He reprised his role of Horshack for one episode of the short-lived TV sitcom “Mr. Rhodes,” titled “The Welcome Back Episode.”
Palillo is the second “Welcome Back, Kotter” cast member to succumb to a heart attack this year. Robert Hegyes, who played sweathog Epstein on the show, passed away back in January.