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Robert Hegyes Dead: 'Welcome Back Kotter' Actor Dies At 60

Robert Hegyes

First Posted: 01/26/2012 4:28 pm Updated: 03/26/2012 6:22 am

"Welcome Back Kotter" actor Robert Hegyes has died. According to New Jersey's The Star-Ledger, he was 60 years old.

The Star-Ledger reports he suffered an apparent heart attack in his New Jersey home on Thursday morning.

Hegyes is best known for playing Juan Epstein on "Welcome Back Kotter," the 1970s sitcom, which starred John Travolta and Gabe Kaplan. He appeared in all four seasons of the sitcom and joined most of his fellow Sweathogs at the "Welcome Back Kotter" reunion held at the 2011 TV Land Awards. After "Kotter," Hegyes went on to co-star in "Cagney and Lacey" as Detective Manny Esposito. His other TV work includes an episode of "The Love Boat," "NewsRadio" and "CHiPS."

Hegyes' last credited role was in the 2002 movie "Hip, Edgy, Sexy, Cool."

His brother Mark told The Star-Ledger that Robert was retired, but still talked about being involved in local arts efforts. "He always had these great schemes," his brother said, "but last week he said, 'I'm not going to do that anymore.'"

Hegyes is survived by three siblings, two children and two step-children.

Many of the notable deaths from 2011:
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  • Pete Postlethwaite

    Pete Postlethwaite, actor, Feb. 16, 1946 - Jan. 2, 2011

  • Anne Francis

    Anne Francis, actress, Sept. 16, 1930 - Jan. 2, 2011

  • Gerry Rafferty

    Gerry Rafferty, singer-songwriter, April 15, 1947 - Jan. 4, 2011

  • Dick King-Smith

    Dick King-Smith, children's book author, March 27, 1922 - Jan. 4, 2011

  • Bo Foster

    Mayhew "Bo" Foster, Flew captured Nazi leader Hermann Goering from the Austrian Alps back to the 7th Army's headquarters in Germany for interrogation, Oct. 19, 1911 - Jan. 9, 2011

  • Peter Yates

    Peter Yates, director, July 24, 1929 - Jan. 9, 2011

  • Mississippi Winn

    Mississippi Winn, oldest living African-American in the U.S., March 31, 1897 - Jan. 14, 2011

  • Susannah York

    Susannah York, actress, Jan. 9, 1939 - Jan. 15, 2011

  • John Dye

    John Dye, actor, Jan. 31, 1963 - Jan. 10, 2011

  • Margaret Whiting

    Margaret Whiting, big band singer, July 22, 1924 - Jan. 10, 2011

  • David Nelson

    David Nelson, television personality, Oct. 24, 1936 - Jan. 12, 2011

  • Don Kirshner

    Don Kirshner, music promoter, April 17, 1934 - Jan. 17, 2011

  • Sargent Shriver

    Sargent Shriver, former Peace Corps director, Democratic vice-presidential nominee. Nov. 9, 1915 - Jan. 18, 2011

  • Maj. Richard "Dick" Winters

    Maj. Richard 'Dick' Winters, decorated WWII veteran, leader of the "Band of Brothers". Jan. 21, 1918 - Jan. 2, 2011

  • Jack LaLanne

    Jack LaLanne, fitness pioneer, Sept. 26, 1914 - Jan. 23, 2011

  • Samuel Ruiz

    Samuel Ruiz, Bishop, human rights activist, Nov. 3, 1924 - Jan. 24, 2011

  • Gladys Horton

    Gladys Horton, singer, May 30, 1944 - Jan. 26, 2011

  • Charlie Callas

    Charlie Callas, actor, Dec. 20, 1924 - Jan. 27, 2011

  • Nora Sun

    Nora Sun, former U.S. trade consul, granddaughter of the founder of Asia's first republic in China. Aug. 6, 1937 - Jan. 29, 2011

  • Maria Schneider

    Maria Schneider, actress, March 27, 1952 - Feb. 3, 2011

  • Tura Satana

    Tura Satana, actress, exotic dancer. July 10, 1938 - Feb. 4, 2011

  • John Paul Getty III

    John Paul Getty III, troubled oil heir, kidnap victim. Nov. 4, 1956 - Feb. 5, 2011

  • Peggy Rea

    Peggy Rea, actress, March 31, 1921 - Feb. 5, 2011

  • Gary Moore

    Gary Moore, rock musician, April 4, 1952 - Feb. 6, 2011

  • Betty Garrett

    Betty Garrett, actress, May 23, 1919 - Feb. 12, 2011

  • Kenneth Mars

    Kenneth Mars, actor, April 14, 1936 - Feb. 12, 2011

  • George Shearing

    George Shearing, jazz piano legend, Aug. 13, 1919 - Feb.14, 2011

  • Len Lesser

    Len Lesser, actor, Dec. 3, 1922 - Feb. 16, 2011

  • Duke Snider

    Duke Snider, baseball player, Sept. 19, 1926 - Feb. 27, 2011

  • Frank Buckles

    Frank Buckles, the last surviving American WWI veteran. Feb. 1, 1901 - Feb. 27, 2011

  • Jane Russell

    Jane Russell, actress, June 21, 1921 - Feb. 28, 2011

  • Annie Girardot

    Annie Girardot, French actress, Oct. 25, 1931 - Feb. 28, 2011

  • Mikhail Simonov

    Mikhail Simonov, Russian Sukhoi fighter jet designer, Oct. 19, 1929 - March 4, 2011

  • Alberto Granado

    Alberto Granado, Argentine-Cuban doctor, writer and scientist. Aug. 8, 1922 - March 5, 2011

  • David Broder

    David Salzer Broder, journalist, Sept. 11, 1929 - March 9, 2011

  • Joe Morello

    Joe Morello, jazz drummer, July 17, 1928 - March 12, 2011

  • Owsley "Bear" Stanley

    Owsley "Bear" Stanley, Sound Engineer and former LSD cook. Jan. 19, 1935 - March 13, 2011

  • Michael Gough

    Michael Gough, English character actor, Nov. 23, 1916 - March 17, 2011

  • Warren Christopher

    Warren Minor Christopher, former U.S. Secretary of State, Oct. 27, 1925 - March 18, 2011

  • Joseph William "Pinetop" Perkins

    Joseph William "Pinetop" Perkins, blues musician, July 7, 1913 - March 21, 2011

  • Elizabeth Taylor

    Elizabeth Taylor, actress, Feb. 27, 1932 - March 23, 2011

  • Olga Ulyanova

    Olga Ulyanova, niece of Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin, 1922 - March 25, 2011

  • Geraldine Ferraro

    Geraldine Ferraro, first female vice presidential candidate. Aug. 26, 1935 - March 26, 2011

  • José Alencar

    José Alencar, former Brazilian vice president, Oct. 17, 1931 - March 29, 2011

  • Ange-Felix Patasse

    Ange-Felix Patasse, deposed President of the Central African Republic, Jan. 25, 1937 - April 5, 2011

  • Betty Ford

    Betty Ford, former First Lady of the United States, founder of the Betty Ford Clinic. April 8, 1918 - July 8, 2011

  • Sidney Lumet

    Sidney Lumet, film director, June 25, 1924 - April 9, 2011

  • William Lipscomb

    William Nunn Lipscomb Jr., Nobel Prize-winning chemist, Dec. 9, 1919 - April 14, 2011

  • Walter Breuning

    Walter Breuning, last American man born before 1900. Sept. 21, 1896 - April 14, 2011

  • Pietro Ferrero Jr.

    Pietro Ferrero Jr., CEO of Ferrero chocolate, Sept. 11, 1963 - April, 18th 2011

  • Chris Hondros

    Chris Hondros, photojournalist, March 14, 1970 - April 20, 2011


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Filed by Chris Harnick  |