Menu

Fox411

ENTERTAINMENT

'Welcome Back Kotter' actor Robert Hegyes dies from suspected heart attack

April 10, 2011: Actors (L-R) Marcia Strassman, Robert Hegyes, John Travolta, Ellen Travolta and Gabe Kaplan accept the "35th Anniversary" award during the 2011 TV Land Awards.Reuters

"Welcome Back Kotter" actor Robert Hegyes died Thursday in New Jersey, from a suspected heart attack.

Hegyes was a star of the 1970s comedy -- with his character Juan Epstein famous for producing faked absence letters from "Epstein's Mother" and "Epstein's Mother's Doctor" -- and was also one of its directors.

In addition, he appeared in "Cagney & Lacey."

The 60-year-old died at JFK Medical Center in Edison, N.J., after suffering chest pains at his Metuchen home Thursday morning, The Star-Ledger reported.

His brother Mark Hegyes told The Star-Ledger that the actor had suffered a heart attack a couple of years ago and had not been in full health.

Peter Loewy from Metuchen's Forum Theatre Arts Center paid tribute to Hegyes, saying, "He was a gentle guy. He had, ironically, a big heart."

Hegyes was seen at last year's TV Land Awards, where he joined many "Kotter" co-stars -- including John Travolta -- to accept a 35th Anniversary Award.

Hegyes leaves behind two children and two step-children. A funeral will be held at Flynn & Son Funeral Home in Fords, N.J., Sunday evening.

ON OUR RADAR

AROUND THE WEB

TMZ

Celebuzz!

Zap2It

Radar

x17  News Online

ET