Horshack From 'Welcome Back, Kotter' Dies AP, Palm Beach Post, TVWeek
Actor Ron Palillo, best known as Arnold Horshack on the 1970s sitcom "Welcome Back, Kotter," has died, the Associated Press reports. Palillo, 63, died today at his home in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., after a heart attack.
“Palillo was forever remembered for the character he played from 1975 to 1979 on the ABC sitcom: a nasally Brooklyn teen whose hand shot skyward and who barked out a string of ‘Ooohs’ when a teacher posed a question,” the report notes.
While one of his fellow “Sweathogs” on the show, John Travolta, went on to become a big star, Palillo struggled with his acting career after his years playing Horshack. Commenting on the character in an interview, Palillo once said: "While I loved him, I really loved him, I didn't want to do him forever."
Palillo did find work, including a guest role on the sitcom “Ellen.” He concentrated on voice work in a number of TV and feature productions, and made guest appearances on “The Love Boat” and other shows. He also performed on the stage in New York.
In addition to acting, Palillo was an artist and playwright.
The Palm Beach Post quoted a friend of Palillo’s, Stacy Sacco, saying: “He just couldn’t have been more fun and intelligent or talented. He was an amazing human being."