Vinnie Barbarino (John Travolta) Arnold Horshack (Ron Pallilo) Juan Lois Phillipole Epstein Freddie "Boom-Boom" Washington
(April 2, 1949 – August 14, 2012)(May 7, 1951 – January 26, 2012)
The class and teacher:
Mr. Kotter's class:Bottom: Barberino, Gabe Kotter, Washington
Top: Horshack, Epstein (May they both rest in peace) both died of heart attacks, The students (Sweathogs) of Buchanan High in Brooklyn, NY
This page was last updated on: March 2, 2017
Epstein's mother has written notes since May 13, 2003
Gabriel Kaplan as Mr. Kotter Born: March 31, 1945
*Gabe was only a few years older than his students*
I cannot believe what has happened! TVLand took WBK off the air at midnight! Why did they do this? To replace "Welcome Back, Kotter" and the rest of the "Shows too strange to air anywhere else" like" WKRP in Cincinatti" with H.R. Puff'n' Stuff!. Ever since TVLand started pulling shows off the air after Decemer 31, 2004, I at least thought at least WBK would be left alone!
Anyway, this is a show centered around a high school teacher, Mr. Gabe Kotter, and his troubled students, the "Sweathogs." It used to air on TVLand Fridays and Saturdays at midnight during the TVLand "Kitschen." (This no longer exists.)
Vinnie Barberino--played by John Travolta and nicknamed "The Italian Stallion"
Juan Epstien--played by Robert Heyges. He is a Puerto Rican Jew who lives with nine siblings, and he has a habit of getting his mother to write him a note excusing him from anything. (Died on January 26, 2012)
Arnold Horshack--played by Ron Pallilo. He always yells "Ooo! Ooo! Mr. Kotter!" while waving his hand in the air. Seems to be the baby of the class. (Died on August 14, 2012) (My half-birthday!)
Freddie Washington--played by Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs. He is a smooth talker, especially when he says, "Hi there..." Calls his teacher "Mr. Kott-AIR."
Due to lack of space, I put my links here instead of their usual upper left area.
Now hear the Welcome Back, Kotter theme!
*I am quite shocked to learn, like many others, of the sudden passing of John Travolta's son, Jett; I hope the media will try to remember that the Travoltas are humans, and need to grieve for him, like any other parents would. I would also like to add that even though John is a devote supporter of Scientology do NOT give the press any right to place blame on John or Kelly. Again, they are grieving parents, so just let them be. Saying Jett did not get the proper medicine is absurd! Who are they to judge?*
Why do I have two very different shows on this page? On Friday and Saturday at midnight, Welcome Back, Kotterused to be on TVLand, but **Sunday through Thursday**used to feature this superhero who is just an everyday average kind of guy. (I am NOT changing things much because I REFUSE to let TVLand control the set-up of my pages!) The thing that sets him apart from average men is his amazing ability to get stuck in what seems like impossible situations, only to find a way out using literally whatever happens to be lying around him at the time (such as a paper clip) His giant capacity to think rids him of the need to use guns, which he HATES. The name of this man is Agnus MacGyver, but you can just call him by his last name. I'm very sorry to say that Spike TV is no longer airing this wonderful show! (It is now listed under their "vintage" section.)Thing is that the MacGyver schedule has been changed so many times,as well as my other TVLand favorite, I Dream of Jeannie. However, MacGyver apparently comes on Saturdays on TVLand at noon, which I can actually deal with! (Better enjoy before they take it out of the schedule yet, again!)****Attention MacGyver fans!!**** All seven (7)of the MacGyver seasons are out on DVD!
*****MacGyver is on METV at 5:00 and 9:00PM Monday thru Friday*****
(Dana went blind in 1991 during the show's 6th season due to Glaucoma. His character, Pete, was written with the same aliment.)--Update on June 12, 2005--I regret to inform you all that Dana Elcar passed away on June 6, 2005 from Pneumonia complications (Also see this page)--Comments from Richard Dean Anderson are on that page as well!
MacGyver has found another uses for a paper clip, a roll of duct tape and a pocket knife since August 19, 2003
MacGyver is well known for his quick thinking in a tough situation. While many "superheroes" rely on a gun or other weapon as a quick end to a short-term problem, MacGyver prefers to use his brain. He never leaves home without:
-a roll of duct tape
-his pocket knife
-a paper clip is always helpful for something, but sometimes a stick of gum comes in handy. (After all, he's very good with his hands.) Why, with all his brainpower, would he settle on a gun? The only times a gun makes him happy is when it suits a purpose other than killing, such as to pry something open or move a stubborn contraption. At these times, he says, "I'd never thought I'd be happy to see a gun." He has often said that the things he needs are right here, only he finds a different way to use them/it.
Speaking of which, here's some of his dislikes:
-rats (except to help or aid in sending crafts/messages to his allies)
Okay, so what has MacGyver actually done to make himself such an extraordindary person?
I can't possibly list everything he's done, but I'll list some I remember quite well. (Don't expect me to list
anything with a long chemical name, though.)
1. He moved an entire stage using dumbells as wheels.
2. He loosened a rusty water spigot using a gun (this was the only time he used one in a happy manner). (In the episode called "The Challenge," he was holding a gun and would have used it on a racist, but his black friend talked him out of it.)
3. He tipped over a can of ooze using his teeth in order to loosen the ropes around his wrists.
4. He used a pocketknife (he had lost his own earlier) to cut the tape holding a bomb from 100 feet in the air---while he had an injury from a bullet!
5. He used a few chocholate bars to seal an acid leak.
6. He created a key out of the inside of a light bulb.
7. He replaced a torn-up tire on an airplane with a block of wood shaven like a ski on a snowplane.
8. He kept snakes away from his feet by pouring kerosene on his boots.
9. He broke through a wall using a steel coat-rack; saw a conveyer-belt, then snagged part of the belt (after bending a hanger into a figure 8 to use as a lasso--done by a young Teri Hatcher as in her first appearance as actress/dancer/model Penny Parker).
I'm confused about the opening credits in the first couple of seasons. You say he never uses guns, but he is clearly shown firing one.
Ah, so he is. If you have seen this episode called The Golden Triangle, you will notice he is firing at an unoccupied vehicle in order to stop it. I said MacGyver never used guns to kill anyone. He was almost tempted to use one against a racist in "The Challenge," in which a friend of his (Booker) was killed by white supremists, but his friend (played by Cuba Gooding, Jr.) talked him out of it by saying, "Don't do it. I loved Booker, too."
It goes without saying that I was shocked to learn the passings of two sweathogs at once. While they died months apart, I found out about Ron and Robert on the same day...how very sad. Both have died of heart attacks.
Classmates pay tribute to their fallen sweathogs
For Ron: John said: "Ron was a wonderful person and talent. And helped catapult Welcome Back, Kotter to great success. We will miss him."
Gabe said: "Ron was a great colleague and friend, I had been talking about Horshack in my nightclub act and on TV for years before 'WBK' started. When Ron walked into the audition and did his first line 'Hello, how are you? I’m Arnold Horshack' I said, 'That’s him. That’s the guy I’ve been talking about for 5 years.
It came as a shock to me to learn of the passing of Marcia Strassman (Julie Kotter). She passed after lossing a 7-year battle with breast cancer.
Marcia Strassman April 28, 1948--October 24, 2014
Gabe said, Marcia Strassman, who died Oct. 24 at age 66, was a girl from New Jersey, but when she auditioned for the role of Midwesterner Julie Kotter, you would have thought she was from Nebraska. She had to play a fish out of water in New York City, and she did it perfectly.