“Sweathog” Actor Ron Palillo dies in Florida at the age of 63

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Ron Palillo (credit: Getty Images)

Ron Palillo (credit: Getty Images)

Florida News: Ron Palillo who portrayed Horshack in “Welcome Back, Kotter” is dead at age 63

Ron Palillo will always be remembered as a nerdy teenager in Mr. Kotter’s class at the fictional James Buchanan High School. Arnold Horshack was one of the most memorable characters from the 1970s sitcom with his trademark, “OOOH! OOOH!” while shooting his hand up in the air, his wheezing laugh and frequent introduction of, “Hellooohh, how are ya? I’m Arnold HorshAAAAAck!”

Palillo suffered a heart attack in his Florida home yesterday and was later pronounced dead at the Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center.

After “Welcome Back, Kotter”

Palillo had a difficult time coping throughout the 1980s, after “Welcome Back, Kotter” ended. He reportedly felt exiled and depressed. He didn’t leave his apartment very often and he had a difficult time finding other roles. He felt typecast as Arnold Horshack and he was quoted in the Birmingham News in 1994 saying, “While I loved him, I really loved him, I didn’t want to do him forever.”

Palillo played bit parts in many shows including “The A-Team,” “The Love Boat” and “Cagney and Lacey.” He would eventually play himself on the Television series, “Ellen.” In most recent years he spent more time on stage directing and writing than acting and he has always remained most well-known for having played Horshack.

G-Star School of the Arts

Most recently, Palillo had been teaching high school acting at G-Star School of the Arts in West Palm Beach and he was scheduled to start another school year just this week.

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Who was your favorite Sweathog?