Obit of the Day: Juan Epstein
Robert Hegyes, who played the Jewish-Puerto Rican Sweathog on Welcome Back, Kotter during it’s four season run (1975 to 1979), has died at the age of 60. Hegyes who was actually the son of a Hungarian American father and an Italian American mother was a New Jersey native and a graduate of Rowan College (then called Glassboro State University.
Juan Epstein was an urban high school interpretation of Chico Marx, according to Hegyes who was a big fan of the Marx Brothers. After his work on Kotter, Hegyes worked for a time on Cagney & Lacey and then guest starred on several other dramas and comedies including NewsRadio and Diagnosis Murder. He also taught acting classes at his alma mater.
(Courtesy of allstarpics.net. The cover of this fantastic 1970s issue of Dynamite reads, “Bob Hegyes is a Real Person,” which was quite the revelation I’m sure.)
h/t to my friend Bridgette Raes