The Star-Ledger reports he suffered an apparent heart attack in his New Jersey home on Thursday morning.
Hegyes is best known for playing Juan Epstein on "Welcome Back Kotter," the 1970s sitcom, which starred John Travolta and Gabe Kaplan. He appeared in all four seasons of the sitcom and joined most of his fellow Sweathogs at the "Welcome Back Kotter" reunion held at the 2011 TV Land Awards. After "Kotter," Hegyes went on to co-star in "Cagney and Lacey" as Detective Manny Esposito. His other TV work includes an episode of "The Love Boat," "NewsRadio" and "CHiPS."
Hegyes' last credited role was in the 2002 movie "Hip, Edgy, Sexy, Cool."
His brother Mark told The Star-Ledger that Robert was retired, but still talked about being involved in local arts efforts. "He always had these great schemes," his brother said, "but last week he said, 'I'm not going to do that anymore.'"
Hegyes survived by three siblings, two children and two step-children.
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