When I was growing up, one of my favorites shows on TV was “Welcome Back Kotter“. One of the funniest characters on that show was Epstien (The Jewish Puerto Rican Character). In real life his name was Robert Hegyes. What hit home for me was that Mr. Hegyes was only 60 years old and lived in my old home town of Metuchen, NJ!
When I think back to this show, I always think of the name “Sweathogs”. Kotter was the show that launched John Travolta to the orbital fame he achieved as the character “Vinnie Barbarino”. What about Arnold Horseshack? Where is he today?
What still sticks in my mind from this hit show show was the theme music that sticks in my mind to this day! Sung by John Sebastian, this was a song that always sounded great no matter how many thousands of times you heard it on the radio.
What I didn’t know:
- Robert Hegyes was a Metuchen Native and was educated at Rowen University in NJ.
- After Kotter, he continued to shop up on television on “Diagnosis for Murder” and “Drew Carey”.
We will miss you Mr. Epstien or as he said on Kotter “My name is Juan Luis Pedro Felipo de Huevos Epstein”. Try saying that with a straight face on camera!
- Robert Hegyes Epstein From Welcome Back Kotter Dies At 60 (onlineupdaters.wordpress.com)
- Robert Hegyes, played Epstein on ‘Kotter,’ dies (pbpulse.com)
- ‘Welcome Back Kotter’ Actor Dies At 60 (huffingtonpost.com)