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'Kotter' co-star Robert Hegyes dead at 60

Jan. 26, 2012 at 10:19 PM
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NEWARK, N.J., Jan. 27 (UPI) -- Actor Robert Hegyes died Thursday after suffering an apparent heart attack in his Metuchen, N.J., home, his family said. He was 60.

Hegyes is a Rowan University graduate best known for his work as Juan Epstein in the 1970s sitcom "Welcome Back Kotter" and as Detective Manny Esposito in the 1980s police drama "Cagney and Lacey." He also made guest appearances on "NewsRadio," "Diagnosis Murder" and "The Drew Carey Show."

Mark Hegyes told the Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger his brother had previously suffered a heart attack a couple of years ago and had not been in good health since.

The newspaper said Metuchen police and paramedics responded to a 911 call because Robert Hegyes was experiencing chest pains. He was taken to JFK Medical Center in Edison, but died shortly after he arrived, the report said.

Robert Hegyes was honored with the rest of his "Kotter" cast-mates, including John Travolta, at the 9th Annual TV Land Awards last year.

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