This morning the entertainment world woke to learn that actor Robert Hegyes best known for his role as Juan Epstein in the 70′s series ‘Welcome Back Kotter’ had passed away this morning from an apparent heart attack .
The 60 year old Hegyes was born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, to a Hungarian father and an Italian mother. He studied acting at Metuchen High School in the mid 1960s and was accepted into the Theater Program at Rown Unviversity of New Jersey (formerly Glassboro State College, and in the early 1970s graduated with a BA in Theater & Secondary Education. Hegyes then ventured into New York City to practice his trade, immediately taking up with the Greenwich Village Children’s Repitory Companies, Theater in a Trunk, and The NYC Children’s Puppet Ensemble. In short order, Robert hooked up with his third Greenwhich Village troupe, Jack LaRumpa’s Flying Drum & Kazoo Band, performing improvisational anti-war comedy in Washington Square and the Provincetown Playhouse. (IMDB)
After ‘Welcome Back Kotter’ Hegyes continued in televison making guest appearance on an number of shows before landing a co-starring role on the 80′s series Cagney & Lacey as Det. Manny Esposito.
Classic ‘Welcome Back Kotter’ episode “Sweathog Debate Team”
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