Thursday, January 26, 2012

Robert Hegyes 1951-2012

Actor, director and teacher Robert Hegyes passed away this morning in Metuchen New Jersey from a heart attack. He was 60 years old.

He was perhaps best known as Juan Epstein, one of the Sweathogs on "Welcome Back, Kotter," one of the superstar sitcoms of the 1970s. He was the tough guy, the Puerto Rican Jew, the guy who always had a note from his mother. Later he was a regular on "Cagney and Lacey," and appeared in a myriad of television and film projects in the time since.

A graduate of Glassboro College here in South Jersey, now called Rowan, he became an artist-in-residence. He also frequented the stage, at one point to much acclaim as Chico Marx in "An Evening with Groucho." His directing career began when he was 25 on the set of "Welcome Back, Kotter." Also of note for the Jersey born performer was his family, Jon Bon Jovi was his cousin. He will be missed.

"Dear Mr. Kotter,

Please excuse little Juan from class today. He's dead.

Signed, Epstein's Mother

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