Ron Palillo, of 'Welcome Back, Kotter,' dies at 63

Ron Palillo, who played Horshack on "Welcome Back, Kotter" is pictured working on a film titled "The Curse of Micah Rude" in 2007.  Palillo's friend, Karen Poindexter, says Palillo died early Tuesday in Palm Beach Gardens of an apparent heart attack
Ron Palillo, who played Horshack on "Welcome Back, Kotter" is pictured working on a film titled "The Curse of Micah Rude" in 2007. Palillo's friend, Karen Poindexter, says Palillo died early Tuesday in Palm Beach Gardens of an apparent heart attack Dana Jensen/The Day

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The actor best known as the nerdy high-school student Arnold Horshack on "Welcome Back, Kotter," has died in Florida.

Ron Palillo was 63.

Palillo's friend, Karen Poindexter, says Palillo died early Tuesday in Palm Beach Gardens of an apparent heart attack.

Palillo, a UConn graduate, was forever remembered for the character he played from 1975 to 1979 on the ABC sitcom: a nasally Brooklyn teen whose hand shot skyward and who barked out a string of "Ooohs" when a teacher posed a question.

Though his co-star on the show, John Travolta, went on to fame, Palillo struggled to expand beyond his role as Horshack.

Of Horshack, Palillo once told an interviewer from the Birmingham News: "While I loved him, I really loved him, I didn't want to do him forever."

This file photo originally from ABC shows members of the cast of television sitcom
This file photo originally from ABC shows members of the cast of television sitcom "Welcome Back, Kotter" in a scene in 1978 . They are, left to right; Stephen Shortridge as Beau De Labarre, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs as Freddy Washington, Ron Palillo as Arnold Horshack, Robert Hegyes as Juan Epstein, foreground, John Travolta,rear, as Vinnie Barbarino and Gabe Kaplan as Gabe Kotter. Palillo's friend, Karen Poindexter, says Palillo died early Tuesday in Palm Beach Gardens of an apparent heart attack ABC, files/AP Photo
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