Robert Hegyes, best known for his role as Juan Epstein on “Welcome Back Kotter,” has passed away at the age of 60. According to Reuters, Hegyes was in cardiac arrest when paramedics took the sitcom star to the hospital. The actor would later die at John F. Kennedy Medical Center in Edison, New Jersey.
On “Welcome Back Kotter,” Hegyes played “Juan Luis Pedro Felipo de Huevos Epstein,” a Jewish Puerto Rican student in a remedial class of kids known colloquially as the “Sweathogs.” His catchphrase was “Hey, Mr. Kotter, I got a note!” and he would often mouth the words of the note as his teacher read it aloud, suggesting that Epstein had actually penned the excuse himself.
Loved this show growing up, maybe because I at times felt like one of the Sweathogs. Was an underdog, but had a great group of friends and we really laughed a lot.
If you've never seen the show, here is classic scene: