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Celebrities

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Associated Press photos
This 1978 file photo originally from ABC shows cast members, from left, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs as Freddy Washington, Ron Palillo as Arnold Horshack, Robert Hegyes as Juan Epstein, foreground, John Travolta, rear, as Vinnie Barbarino from the TV sitcom "Welcome Back, Kotter."

Kotter's Horshack actor Ron Palillo dies at 63

AP
This 2008 file photo shows Palillo at the TV Land Awards in Santa Monica, Calif.

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, said Palillo died early Tuesday in Palm Beach Gardens of an apparent heart attack.

Palillo 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."

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