METUCHEN, N.J. — Robert Hegyes, the actor best known for playing Jewish Puerto Rican student Juan Epstein on the 1970s TV show “Welcome Back Kotter” has died. He was 60.
The Flynn & Son Funeral Home in Fords, N.J., said it was informed of Hegyes’ death Thursday by the actor’s family.
a spokesman at JFK Medical Center in Edison, N.J., told the Star-Ledger newspaper that Hegyes, of Metuchen, arrived at the hospital Thursday morning in full cardiac arrest and died.
Hegyes was appearing on Broadway in 1975 when he auditioned for “Kotter,” a TV series about a teacher who returns to the inner-city new York school of his youth to teach a group of irreverent remedial students nicknamed the “Sweathogs.” they included the character Vinnie Barbarino, played by John Travolta.
The show’s theme song, performed by John Sebastian, became a pop hit.
Hegyes also appeared on many other TV series, including “Cagney & Lacey.”
He was born in Perth Amboy and grew up in Metuchen, the eldest child of a Hungarian father and Italian mother.
He attended Rowan University, formerly Glassboro State College, in southern new Jersey, before heading to new York City after graduation. He returned to Rowan on several occasions to teach master classes in acting, a university spokesman said Thursday.
“He was a good friend to the university,” spokesman Joe Cardona said.
Hegyes continued to act after “Kotter” and was a regular on “Cagney & Lacey.” He also guest-starred in shows including “Diagnosis Murder” and “The Drew Carey show.”
on his website, Hegyes wrote that he was inspired by Chico Marx, whom he had played in a touring production of a show about the Marx Bros. He also recalled how his mother encouraged him to get involved in theater as a teen.
CLICK HERE TO SEE NOTABLE DEATHS FROM 2012
— Get Eyewitness News Delivered
Facebook | Twitter | Newsletters | Text Alerts
(Copyright ©2012 by The associated Press. all Rights Reserved.)
Get more Eyewitness News »
famous deaths, eyewitness news
This woman was just diagnosed with a severe case of mono. It’s her 4th bout with Epstein-Barr/Mono (EB) since couple years ago. it seems like every 2-3 years she falls victim to this stinking virus. so she asks whether there is any correlation between EB and Candida?
All she wants to do is sleep and/or lay on the sofa. plus, she has to continue working instead of going on disability. my suggestion and answer is expected. actually, those are because of a poor immune system. What you should do is to build up your immune system.
All of these immune system diseases are actually caused by chemical pharmaceutical medicines, including vaccines, and chemical fertilizers, food additives, a poor diet, and lack of exercise. it lists all of the poisonous household chemicals. Synthetic carpeting emits poisonous fumes. Lots of indoor plants help with that. All processed foods have food additives that are petroleum based.
We are literally ingesting many poisons every day. Is it any wonder that more and more people are getting ill. Vaccines contain poisons, including childhood vaccines and virus shots. Vaccines have something in them to lower your immune system.
The only way to get well is to go as natural as possible and take vitamins/minerals. Doctors will only keep giving you more that damage the immune system. I am not telling anyone to not go to their doctor, but while you are doing that, you need to build yourself up. Ultimately, you are responsible for how you feel.
The Navy SEAL operation to rescue an American held hostage in Somalia was taking place as President Obama delivered his State of the Union speech on Tuesday night, he said in an interview Thursday.
“On this one, they were moving so fast that I actually had to give the order and the directions and then they were out,” he told NBC News's Diane Sawyer. “It was not a situation where I could actually talk to the folks who were directing the operation, and it was still ongoing while were in the middle of the State of the Union speech.”
The operation to rescue Jessica Buchanan, who was held hostage for three months, and a Danish hostage gave Obama pause as he thought about what Buchanan's father was experiencing as his daughter was held in captivity. “I cannot imagine what he went through – given Malia and Sasha – and for him to be able to stay strong and then for our incredible men and women in uniform to do what they do, it makes you proud about this country,” he said.
Obama said he has not spoken to Buchanan, though he did notify her father of the rescue.
As Obama entered the House chamber for his State of the Union speech, he was heard telling Defense Secretary "good job," a comment the president said was about the rescue.
“he does a good job, generally, but we were very specifically referring to the operation in Somalia because at that time we knew that she had already been recovered along with the Danish hostage and they weren’t yet back to Djibouti – the American base – but we knew at that point that they were safe and that everybody had successfully achieved the mission,” Obama said.