Celebrity News
Service For Actor Ron Palillo
By Ivetta Babadjanian
Aug 20, 2012 - 6:15:33 PM

HOLLYWOOD—Actor Ron Palillo, known for his role as the nerdy high school student Arnold Horshack on "Welcome Back, Kotter" died on Tuesday, August 14 at the age of 63. His funeral service will be taking place on Wednesday, August 22 in Palm Beach Gardens.
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Actor Ron Palillo


Reports indicate that Palillo died of a heart attack at 2 p.m. in his Palm Beach Gardens, Florida apartment where he lived and remained active in the theater. There will be a private viewing during the week and then he will be buried in Cheshire, Connecticut where he will rest by his mother who died recently at 102.

According to the Howard-Price Funeral Home website, flowers and other donations in honor of Palillo can be made to the National Arts Institute, P.O. Box 2457, Palm Beach, Florida 33480.

The ABC sitcom "Welcome Back, Kotter" aired from 1975 to 1979 and featured another famous actor, John Travolta. Palillo's character was known for his "Oooh! Oooh!" catch phrase when a teacher posed a question in class.

"RIP Ron Palillo - Horshack," tweeted Rain Pryor, daughter of Richard Pryor. "I used to impersonate him on stage when my dad or mom performed stand up. I was 5."

After the show came to a close, Palillo made a number of guest appearances on television throughout the years mostly as supporting roles, many times not even crediting him with a character.

Palillo ventured in various other projects as he wrote the play "The Lost Boy," was artistic director at Palm Beach's Cuillo Center for the Arts and had a number of theater roles such as the off-Broadway production of Lanford Wilson's "Hot L Baltimore."

The past three years, the actor was teaching theater and acting at G-Star Academy which is a charter school for the arts in West Palm Beach, Florida. It has been stated that many of his younger students were unaware of his previous work as Horshack, therefore, they'd watch the series to get to know his work better.

"Welcome Back, Kotter" co-star Robert Hegyes, who played Juan Epstein, died in January at 60 of a heart attack as well.

Palillo leaves behind two brothers and a sister as well as his partner of 41 years, Joseph Gramm.


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