Epstein From Welcome Back Kotter Passes [VIDEO]
The Jersey-born actor who played Jewish Puerto Rican wheeler-dealer Juan Luis Pedro Phillipo de Huevos Epstein on the 1970s classic “Welcome Back Kotter,” died from an apparent heart attack after suffering chest pains at his Metuchen home yesterday morning. Robert Hegyes was 60 years old. He also starred for a period time on “Cagney and Lacey” and taught at his alma mater, Rowan University, but was best known for being a “sweathog” on the 70’s classic TV series “Welcome Back Kotter,” in which he performed along side a very young John Travolta as one of Mr. Kotter’s tough remedial students. Hegyes had suffered a heart attack a couple of years ago and was not in good health, his brother Mark Hegyes of Montana said. Metuchen police responded to a call for medical assistance from Hegyes’ home at 9:02 a.m., and Hegyes, who was experiencing chest pains, was taken to JFK Medical Center in Edison, police said. By the time he arrived at the emergency room at 9:40 a.m., he was in full cardiac arrest and died, according to hospital spokesman Steven Weiss.