Our TV Shows

Got a Tip?

Call TMZ at (888) 847-9869 or Click Here

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

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.




No Avatar


R.I.P. Mr Palillo.
Condolences to his family..

714 days ago


OOO!!! OOO!!! I'M HAVIN' AN ATTACK!!! Sorry, I couldn't help it. RIP Ron.

714 days ago


SO VERY, VERY SORRY. Long gone are the television days like Welcome Back Kotter, and many, many other shows equal to "Kotter." Those were the days when producers were producers, writers were writers, children on the shows respected their elders, no foul language, no near nudity, and, where the entire casts were proud of the shows they put on for us which were appropriate for all ages. Perhaps our children will never know, what television was, long before their time. Hopefully, "Kotter" and many other excellent shows, will enjoy some re-runs. Sleep Well, Ron and, you too, "Epstein." Looking forward to enjoying you again on "The Tube."

714 days ago


"Horshack is an old and respected name. It means "The cattle are dying""...

714 days ago

Big D    

It all started with a sharp pain in the ass

714 days ago


Wow! I'm shocked! He was such a funny kind-hearted man. RIP Ron, thanks for all the great laughs.

714 days ago


O O O OOOOo OOO O Mr Kotter...Im dead can I be excused?

714 days ago

jetfanglo in peace Horshaaaaaack.........................the ranks are thinning..........aren't they?..............wowee-wow !

714 days ago



714 days ago


RIP Ron. Loved ya!!

714 days ago

Cheryl A.    

I sent my condolences to Mr. Ron and his family and friends. Now I would like for y'all to read about the symptoms of a heart attack. Of course, no two people are the same but
IF you feel severe heartburn, then if goes away for a few minutes and comes back, if you throw up, if your left arm hurts or tingles, if your leg hurts or tingles, if you have a nasty cough (Mr. Ron did) if you just feel awful, get checked out NOW. Not too many people realize that vomiting is a sign of a heart attack. Please don't ignore this.

714 days ago


RIP, you made me smile and laugh many times. To young to be gone.

714 days ago


RIP, was a nice guy, much like his co-star John Travolta, good folks

714 days ago

JugEars McKenyan Sr..    

OOOO OOO OOO OOO mr Kotter call on me!!! Yea, it's not looking good for the over 50 crowd and I'm 47 myself so I don't know, we try to live each day like it could be the last, and it's not that hard with a president who's working for Americas enemies more than he does Americans and that even includes black Americans who think he's helping them when he's hurting them more than any black leader has, if he was black that is, which he is not no matter what his friends at Ancestry dot om say. I know this, they'll never get my business making up crud like that. Yea O's mom somehow went from Black to white and back to black with little barry?? Yea sure and I'm George Washington's distant cousin. Obama's more related to George Bush and Sarah Palin (THAT IS A FACT) than any African Slaves. IN fact the people who 'proved that' were Ancestry dot com..!!!! lololol Google This "Barack Obama related to Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh and George W. Bush, "

714 days ago


You ppl have FAR too much time on you're hands if u r bitchin about spelling. EVERYONE makes mistakes. RIP you were loved by many...........

714 days ago
Previous 15 Comments | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | Most Recent | Next 15 Comments

Around The Web