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Died January 26

Published: 1/26/2015
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Robert Hegyes (ABC Photo Archives / Contributor / Getty Images)

Actor Robert Hegyes was known best as a Sweathog – Epstein, to be exact, one of the unruly high school students immortalized in TV's Welcome Back, Kotter. Hegyes also directed episodes during the show's four-season run. Other notable appearances included the movies Honeymoon Hotel and Bob Roberts, and a regular role in TV's Cagney & Lacey. Later in life, he became artist-in-residence at his alma mater, New Jersey's Rowan University. We remember Hegyes' life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.

Click to discover notable people who were born this day in history.

2012: Robert Hegyes, U.S. actor known best for playing Epstein in Welcome Back, Kotter, dies of cardiac arrest at 60.

Kotter's Juan Epstein was known for the excuse notes he presented to his teacher – ostensibly written by his mother and signed "Epstein's Mother," though Epstein clearly wrote them himself. That became even more obvious when Epstein would lip-sync along with each note, which he knew by heart after composing it, while Kotter read it aloud. Read more



2011: Gladys Horton, U.S. musician and singer known for being the lead vocalist in the Marvelettes, dies at 65 after having a stroke.

Gladys Horton of The Marvelettes (Photo: Gilles Petard/Redferns/Getty)Horton was a teenager in the Detroit suburb of Inkster when she and friends formed a group they called "the Casinyets," short for "Can't Sing Yet." By the time she was 15, Motown had given the group a new name and a hit song in "Please Mr. Postman." The tune, more pop-oriented than much of Motown's early recordings, was covered later by the Beatles and others. Read more


2011: Charlie Louvin, influential U.S. country music singer-songwriter who was a member of the Louvin Brothers, dies of complications of pancreatic cancer at 83.

Charlie Louvin (AP Photo)According to the Country Music Hall of Fame, the unique sound of Charlie and his brother, Ira, proved highly influential in the genre's history. The hall inducted them in 2001. Among their hits were "I Don't Believe You've Met My Baby," which reached No. 1 in 1965; "When I Stop Dreaming"; "Hoping That You're Hoping"; and "You're Running Wild." The brothers decided to disband their duo in 1963. Two years later, Ira died in a Missouri car accident. Charlie recalled later that differences in personality and Ira's drinking created friction between them, but he also said they probably would have reunited had Ira survived. Read more

2008: Christian Brando, U.S. actor and troubled eldest son of Marlon Brando, dies of pneumonia at 49.

2007: Gump Worsley, Canadian NHL goalie and Hockey Hall of Famer who played without a mask, dies after having a heart attack at 77.

2004: Fred Haas, U.S. professional golfer who won five PGA Tour titles, dies at 88.

2001: Al McGuire, U.S. college basketball coach who led Marquette University to its only national championship and then became a television announcer for college basketball, dies at 72 after being diagnosed with leukemia.

2000: Don Budge, U.S. tennis player who was a world No. 1 player for five years, dies at 84 about a month after being injured in a one-car accident.

1998: Shinichi Suzuki, Japanese music teacher who created the popular Suzuki instructional method, dies at 99.

1996: David Schultz, U.S. wrestler who won the gold medal at the 1984 Olympics, is shot to death by his athletic sponsor John du Pont at 36.

1993: Jan Gies, Dutch resistance fighter who helped hide Anne Frank and her family from the Nazi persecution, dies of kidney failure at 87.

1992: José Ferrer, actor and director who was the first Latino actor to win an Oscar for his role in Cyrano de Bergerac, dies after a brief illness at 80.

1983: Paul "Bear" Bryant, Legendary college football coach for the University of Alabama who won six national championships, dies of a heart attack at 69.

Bryant remains an icon – for his houndstooth hat, stoic demeanor and winning ways – and many still consider him the greatest college coach in the game's history. During his quarter of a century as head coach at Alabama, he led the Crimson Tide to six national championships and 13 Southeastern Conference championships. When he retired at the end of the 1982 season, just weeks before he died, he was the all-time winningest coach in college football history. Read more


1979: Nelson Rockefeller, U.S. businessman and politician who was the governor of New York from 1959 to 1973, dies of a heart attack at 70.

1977: Margaret Hayes, U.S. TV and film actress who played the school teacher in Blackboard Jungle, dies at 60.

1973: Edward G. Robinson, Romanian-American actor who was a Hollywood star and appeared in such movies as Little Caesar and Double Indemnity, dies of cancer at 79.

1962: Charles "Lucky" Luciano, Sicilian-born Mafia boss who is considered the father of modern organized crime in the U.S., dies at 64.

1949: Victor Fleming, Academy Award-winning U.S. director of the films The Wizard of Oz and Gone With the Wind, dies after having a heart attack at 59.

1933: Alva Belmont, U.S. socialite who was a major figure in the women's suffrage movement, dies of heart and lung ailments at 80.

1893: Abner Doubleday, career U.S. Army officer and the supposed creator of the game of baseball, dies at 73.

Click to discover notable people who were born this day in history.

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