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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

No Avatar
91.

ELENA    

ppl have far too much time on they're hands when u r bitchin about others typo's lighten up.....dam

767 days ago
92.

ashlee    

He was my acting teachers at Gstar. I can't believe he's gone. RIP Mr. Paolillo

767 days ago
93.

Joe    

Rest in Peace.

767 days ago
94.

Truth    

RIP. Sad.

767 days ago
95.

tucker    

Rest in peace ...

767 days ago
96.

sookietex    

May the gods speed Ron 'Horshack' Palillo 4~2~1949 - 8~14~2012

767 days ago
97.

poor relative    

You are not funny you bigotted motherf***er

767 days ago
98.

Hank    

I think Travolta is having them killed one by one so they can't testify about how he hit on them all back in the day. Next will be Gabe Kaplan and then the guy who played Washington!

767 days ago
99.

john johnson    

rest in peace

767 days ago
100.

Wow ...    

RIP! Thanks for the memories and the laughter!

767 days ago
101.

Vonnjai    

What a fun show at that time.... nothing fun now days just sex...sex...guns.... sex.... when do we laugh again....

767 days ago
102.

Joann    

Ooh Ooh Ooh Hello,God . My name is Horshack RIP Ron. Blessing and peace to your family.

767 days ago
103.

Drew7477    

I just watched the Season 1 DVDs last week. Sad, RIP. He may not have been the worlds greatest actor but he played Horshack to perfection and that was an iconic character in TV history.

767 days ago
104.

LindyLou    

Heehaw, heehaw, heehaw!
RIP Ron.

767 days ago
105.

Phishie from Philly    

Arnold Horshack! Ooooo Heeelllloooooo!
Freddy Boom Boom Washington! Hey mr Kot tell!
Vinnie Barbarino! I'm going to stick your nose in a rubber hose.
I loved that show.
..
Phishie from Philly

767 days ago
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