Ron Palillo, the sometime actor best known for playing the cretinous Arnold Horshak on the 1970s TV series Welcome Back Kotter has died of an apparent heart attack. Palillo and his co-stars Robert Hegyes, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs and breakout star John Travolta portrayed the “Sweathogs,” four ethnically diverse, wise-cracking but sweet-hearted hoodlums from the mean streets of Brooklyn.
The passing of this pop-culture nonentity might have escaped notice had it not been yet another incident in a string of tragic Sweathog-related events. 2012 has been a particularly bad year for three former Sweathogs. Hegyes, who played Juan Epstein, also died of an apparent “heart attack” in January. Travolta has been recently suffered a string of calamities, including the death of his son Jett, and his recent outing as a gay man accompanied by accusations of lewd conduct.
Ask yourself–just who benefits from the death and ruination of these three men? The answer, though painful, is obvious.
Witness The Fight You’ll Wish Both Men Could Lose: Screech vs. Horshak