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Robert Hegyes
© Peter Martin photo / Robert Hegyes
'Welcome Back, Kotter' star Robert Hegyes dies at 60
By Tim Kenneally

Robert Hegyes, who played Juan Epstein on '70s sitcom "Welcome Back, Kotter," died Thursday, the New Jersey Star-Ledger reports. Hegyes, who died of an apparent heart attack after suffering chest pains at his Metuchen, N.J., home, was 60.

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Hegyes had not been in good health for the past two years, his brother Mark Hegyes told the paper. The actor had suffered a previous heart attack in recent years.

Police responded to an emergency call from Hegyes' home at approximately 9 a.m. He was transported to JFK Medical Center in Edison, N.J., but at that point he had gone into full cardiac arrest.

Though Hegyes also starred on the detective series "Cagney & Lacey" (as Detective Manny Esposito) and, in later years, guest-starred on shows such as "NewsRadio" and "Diagnosis Murder," he was best known for his role as Juan Epstein -- full name: Juan Luis Pedro Phillipo de Huevos Epstein -- on the 1970s sitcom "Welcome Back, Kotter" from 1975 to 1979. Perpetually scheming and always ready with a self-written note signed "Epstein's Mother" to explain his school absences, Epstein stood out among a group of characters that included the super-cocky womanizer Vinnie Barbarino (played by a young John Travolta) and hip but beleaguered high school teacher Gabe Kotter (played by Gabe Kaplan).

Hegyes' last listed acting role on IMDb is in the film "Hip, Edgy, Sexy, Cool" in 2002. He also appeared with most of the original "Kotter" cast members for a reunion at the TV Land Awards last year, as a commemoration for the series' 35th anniversary.

He leaves behind two children, Cassie and Mack, and two stepchildren, Sophia and Alex.

Related articles from TheWrap:
Jeff Conaway, 'Grease' Star Who Struggled With Addictions, Dies at 60
'M*A*S*H' Star Harry Morgan Dies at 96
'Laugh-In' Regular Alan Sues Dies at 85 

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2 hours ago
Who are the trolls that thumbdown on messages that are only posting sympathies? Some folks ought to take a hard look at their evil hearts, 'cause when they die, fire will surely be greeting these trolls!
12 hours ago

Georgia:  CommonScent, as I call "it" has been posting for years and has NEVER to my memory said anything positive about any topic or individual. 

If the idiot spent a little time learning to type or spell, "he" would still be an idiot.  But not look quite so stupid...

12 hours ago

I remember this one:


Violets are blue, roses are red, please excuse Juan from class cause his grandmother is dead.  Signed, Epstein's Mother.


RIP Rob.

I always thought of Epstein and Freddy "Boom-Boom" Washington as the weed smokers of the crew  ! ! !

Georgia- Don't get confuse-Just because you like Johnnie's acting doesn;t mean you will a)ever get in his pants b)that he was right or c) that is makes him a good parent. ! ! !

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