×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Robert Hegyes dies at 60

Played Epstein on 'Welcome Back Kotter'

Robert Hegyes, who played Juan Epstein, one of the so-called Sweathogs on the 1970s ABC comedy “Welcome Back Kotter,” died from an apparent heart attack Thursday morning in Metuchen, N.J. He was 60.

In “Kotter” Hegyes co-starred alongside a young John Travolta as the half-Jewish, half-Puerto Rican high school student whose full name was Juan Luis Pedro Phillipo de Huevos Epstein.

Later the actor was a regular on CBS crime drama “Cagney and Lacey,” on which he played an undercover cop.

Born in New Jersey to a Hungarian father and Italian mother, Hegyes studied theater at Rowan U. and began his career onstage. He portrayed Chico Marx in “An Evening With Groucho” and later said he based his performance of Epstein on the frenetic Marx brother.

He made his first smallscreen appearance on “The Streets of San Francisco” in 1975 and guested on a variety of TV shows, including “CHiPs,” “NewsRadio” and “Diagnosis Murder.” He also appeared on a number of gameshows, on a 1995 episode of “Saturday Night Live” and as himself on a 1998 episode of “The Drew Carey Show.”

The actor also did some teaching at Rowan U. and elsewhere.

Hegyes and most of the rest of the “Kotter” cast reunited last year at the TV Land Awards on the occasion of the show’s 35th anniversary. He also appeared last year on “Good Morning America.”

Hegyes was the cousin of Jon Bon Jovi. He was married and divorced three times and is survived by two children, two stepchildren and three siblings.

More TV

  • Shefali Shah in Delhi Crime

    'Delhi Crime’ Wins big at Asian Academy Creative Awards

    Richie Mehta’s harrowing Netflix series “Delhi Crime” was the big winner at the 2nd annual Asian Academy Creative Awards in Singapore on Friday. Representing the show, lead actress Shefali Shah was rushed off her feet as she repeatedly had to return to the stage. “Delhi Crime” earned her best actress in a leading role, best [...]

  • KARNAWAL

    ‘Karnawal,’ ‘Restless,’ ‘Summer White,’ ‘Firsts’ Win Big at Ventana Sur

    BUENOS AIRES  — With Ventana Sur now firing on multiple cylinders, featuring pix-in post or project competitions for not only art films but also genre pics and animation – two sectors embraced by young creators in Latin America – “Karnawal,” “Restless,” “Summer White” and  “Firsts” proved big winners among Ventana Sur’s arthouse and animation competitions, [...]

  • Robert Walker Jr.

    'Star Trek' Actor Robert Walker Jr. Dies at 79

    Robert Walker Jr., son of actors Robert Walker and Jennifer Jones, died Thursday, his family confirmed to the official website for the television show “Star Trek.” He was 79. Walker Jr. is best remembered for playing the titular Charlie Evans in the “Star Trek” episode “Charlie X” from the show’s first season in 1966. His [...]

  • Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James, right,

    TV Ratings: Why Is the NBA Shooting Air Balls?

    The NBA’s TV ratings so far this season have been far from all-star level. Viewership across ESPN, TNT and NBA TV is down 15% year-to-year overall, according to Nielsen figures. TNT’s coverage is averaging 1.3 million viewers through 14 telecasts, down 21% versus last year’s comparable coverage, while on ESPN the picture isn’t much prettier. The [...]

  • Claire Danes, Homeland

    TV News Roundup: Showtime Releases 'Homeland' Final Season Trailer

    In today’s TV news roundup, Showtime drops the trailer for the final season of “Homeland,” and National Geographic reveals the first look at Cynthia Erivo as Aretha Franklin in “Genius: Aretha.” FIRST LOOKS Showtime released the trailer for the final season of “Homeland,“ premiering Feb. 9. The eighth and final season, starring Claire Danes and [...]

  • 700700 + Ted Turner Dedication. December

    Ted Turner Tributes Established With WarnerMedia Gift to University of Georgia

    WarnerMedia has established a scholarship, internship program and exhibition hall at the University of Georgia to be named after maverick media mogul Ted Turner. The company has gifted $550,000 to the university to create the Ted Turner Scholarship Fund, for students attending the school’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, which is also the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content