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RON PALILLO “HORSHACK” OF WELCOME BACK, KOTTER FAME – DIES @ 63!

August 14, 2012
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Ron Palillo was best known for playing class clown Arnold Horshack on the 1970s hit show
Ron Palillo was best known for playing class clown Arnold Horshack on the 1970s hit show “Welcome Back Kotter.”

(CNN) – Actor Ron Palillo, who played class clown Arnold Horshack on the 1970s television comedy “Welcome Back, Kotter,” has died at age 63, his agent said Tuesday.

Palillo died of a heart attack in the Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, area, where he had moved to live near his mother and was active in the theater, his agent, Scott Stander, told CNN.

He was best known for his role as one of the “Sweathogs” — remedial students at a Brooklyn high school — on the 1975-79 show, which starred Gabe Kaplan and launched the career of fellow Sweathog John Travolta. Palillo’s “Oooh! Oooh!” appeals for attention became the character’s catchphrase.

Ron "Horshack" Palillo

Stander called Palillo “upbeat, fun, a great friend who loved theater, loved the fans and had a great sense of humor.”

Palillo made numerous guest appearances on television in the following decades and taught acting to high school students at the G-Star School of the Arts, a charter school in West Palm Beach, Stander said.

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