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Ron Palillo Dead at 63

'Welcome Back, Kotter' Star

Dies from Heart Attack

8/14/2012 9:01 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Exclusive Details

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Ron Palillo -- the actor who played Horshack on "Welcome Back, Kotter" -- died this morning at his home near Palm Beach, FL from an apparent heart attack ... this according to someone close to the actor.

We're told Palillo was found by his partner of many years Joseph Gramm around 4:00 AM. Gramm called an ambulance and Palillo was rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

We're told the heart attack was very unexpected. Palillo was 63.

According to one of Palillo's colleagues at G-Star School of the Arts, Palillo had appeared to be in good health ... but was a heavy smoker. We're told he had been suffering from a bad cough and had even scheduled a doctor's appointment for today.

Palillo was known for calling out, "Ooh ooh ooh, Mr. Kotter" as one of the Sweathogs on the show ... which he appeared on with John Travolta from 1975 to 1979. 



After Kotter, Palillo appeared in "Laverne & Shirley" and voiced a character on the Disney cartoon, "Darkwing Duck."

Palillo's "Kotter" co-star Robert Hegyes -- who played Epstein -- also passed away earlier this year after suffering a heart attack.

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194 COMMENTS

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31.

WiddoMouse    

Oh, Ron, I'm going to miss you. He had one of the most beautiful smiles I have ever seen. My sincere sympathy to his partner, Joseph, and all his family.

770 days ago
32.

Jo    

Ooh, ooh, ooh, now Horshak and Epstein are back together again. Sad to see you go funny man.
Rest in peace

770 days ago
33.

Jo    

Ooh, ooh, ooh, now Horshak and Epstein are back together again. Sad to see you go funny man.
Rest in peace

770 days ago
34.

Dawn    

Very sad to see those who you watched in childhood pass away.....puts your age into prespective! RIP~Thanks for the laughs!

770 days ago
35.

VictorG    

I loved him in Welcome Back Kotter, I can still hear him going ohh ohh Mr. Kotter.
Thanks for the memories RIP

770 days ago
36.

middleclasshell    

RIP, Ron ---
Check out http://middleclasshell.com for REAL, funny entertainment.

770 days ago
37.

Mag    

Welcome Back Kotter gave me such comfort upon moving to CA from TX. It genuinely made me laugh at a very hard point in my life. RIP Mr. Palillo.

770 days ago
38.

knj41227    

STFUP.......You need to pay closer attention to the article. They didn't say "Mt Kotter". They said "MR Kotter".......

770 days ago
39.

RUKidding    

I'm so sad, I wanted to come here and say goodbye to a very loving soul, he is not really gone though he is in a peaceful place. Makes me so sad to see this happen. God Bless you, that laugh will live for ever. God Bless his family also.

770 days ago
40.

Chris    

Rest In Peace...........

770 days ago
41.

brenda824    

I met Ron a few years back when he appeared on stage in a play called "Dial M for Murder". He was a very nice man. Too bad.

770 days ago
42.

Mr. E    

I remember the actor well from "my early days". Always good memories, Please bless his family and partner as their grief must be enormous. Amen

770 days ago
43.

shar    

My favourite on the show...RIP

770 days ago
44.

anyjoe    

Rip Ron

Here is a great youtube video of him with Washington and Epstein doing a bit from pulp fiction. its youtube followed by /watch?v=sJaKDNuKMsk (incase I cant post a link here :)
or just http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJaKDNuKMsk

770 days ago
45.

JOE_BRONX    

Fond memories of watching Welcome Back Kotter. When T.V. was T.V.-R.I.P.

770 days ago
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