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Robert Hegyes, played Epstein on 'Kotter,' dies

METUCHEN, N.J. - The actor best known for playing Jewish Puerto Rican student Juan Epstein on the 1970s TV show "Welcome Back Kotter" has died.

METUCHEN, N.J. - The actor best known for playing Jewish Puerto Rican student Juan Epstein on the 1970s TV show "Welcome Back Kotter" has died.

The Flynn & Son Funeral Home in New Jersey says it was informed of Robert Hegyes' death Thursday by the actor's family. He was 60.

A spokesman at JFK Medical Center in New Jersey told the Star-Ledger newspaper that Hegyes arrived at the hospital in the morning in full cardiac arrest and died.

Hegyes was appearing on Broadway in 1975 when he auditioned for "Kotter," a TV series about a teacher who returns to the inner-city school of his youth to teach a group of remedial students. They included the character Vinnie Barbarino, played by John Travolta.

Hegyes appeared on many other TV series, including "Cagney & Lacey."