Celebrity deaths in 2012 - In Memoriam

Slideshow posted in Photos | Friday, January 20, 2012

36 of 186: Ron Palillo, who played Arnold Dingfelder Horshack on the 1970s comedy show 'Welcome Back, Kotter,' died at age 63 early on Tuesday, August 14, his rep told OnTheRedCarpet.com.

He had suffered a heart attack near Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, his agent told CNN. The Palm Beach Post newspaper quoted a friend of Palillo's as saying that he died earning that morning.

The outlet said the actor is survived by his partner of 41 years, Joseph Gramm, a retired actor.

Pallilo, a native of Cheshire, Connecticut, played the class clown on 'Welcome Back, Kotter,' from 1975 to 1979.

Palillo made his big screen debut in the 1979 movie 'Skatetown, U.S.A.' and later appeared in films such as 'Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI' in 1986.

He had small roles on shows such as 'The Love Boat' and 'Cagney and Lacey' and played Gary Warren on the soap opera 'One Life to Live.'

In 2002, he fought 'Saved By The Bell' actor Dustin Diamond, who played Screech on the show, on the short-lived FOX show 'Celebrity Boxing' and lost.

Palillo's last on-screen role was in the 2010 independent film 'It's a Dog Gone Tale: Destiny's Stand," which also starred Barry Bostwick.

Palillo had moved to Florida in his later years to be closer to his mother, CNN said. He taught acting at G-Star School of the Arts, a charter school in Palm Springs, for about three years, the Palm Beach Post said.

The actor served as the artistic director for the Cuillo Center for the Arts in West Palm Beach. There, he also directed and performed in plays such as 'A Closer Walk With Patsy Cline' and a new version of 'The Phantom of the Opera.'

He also acted in plays in New York and earned rave reviews for his performance in the one-man play 'The Diary of Adolf Eichmann' at the Jewish Theater of New York.

( Photo / ABC)