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Popular Topics in Social Sciences
Stonewall Riots Stonewall Riots
The confrontations between police and demonstrators at the Stonewall Inn in New York City the weekend of June 27-29, 1969 mark the beginning of the modern glbtq movement for equal rights.
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In Memoriam
In Memoriam: Ron Palillo (1949-2012)
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 08/14/12
Last updated on: 08/14/12
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Ron Palillo.

Actor Ron Palillo, best known for his portrayal of Horshack in the ABC sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter, which aired from 1975 to 1979, died on August 14, 2012 at his home in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. He apparently suffered a heart attack. He was found by his longtime companion, Joseph Gramm, and rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead upon arrival.

Palillo was born in Cheshire, Connecticut, and graduated from the University of Connecticut, where he taught acting in the 1990s.

Before landing the role of Horshack, he had played a mentally-challenged boy in an off-Broadway production of Lanford Wilson's Hot L Baltimore.

After Welcome Back, Kotter, Palillo appeared in supporting roles in various sitcoms, including Ellen, where in the 1996 season he became the love interest of Ellen's friend Audrey. He also performed voices in various animated series.

In addition, he performed in theater, including on Broadway. Among his roles were Mozart in Amadeus, George in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls. In 2009, he appeared in Broadway Backwards 4, a charity event for people with AIDS.

Joe Jervis of Joe.My.God recalls that Palillo's skit in Broadway Backwards was "a hilarious satire of Proposition 8 and he was fantastic in it."

In 2008, he performed with his partner Joseph Gramm in Alec Asten's horror film, The Curse of Micah Rood.

Pallilo was also an artist and playwright. He illustrated two children's books. His best-known play is The Lost Boy (2005), about the creation of James Barrie's Peter Pan.

Pallilo taught acting for film and camera at G-Star School of the Arts in Palm Beach, Florida.

Greg Hauptner, founder and CEO of G-Star, told the Palm Beach Post that "He was the greatest guy. He could have come in with an ego and he didn't. He was appreciative of working with the kids, and the kids loved him."

"He was a very gentle gentleman," Hauptner added. "He knew how to work with the kids and how to get the best out of them.

Palillo is survived by Gramm, his partner of 41 years.

Below is a trailer for The Curse of Micah Rood.

The video below answers the question of what happened to Horshack.

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