RON PALILLO (d: 2012) was born today. An American television and film actor, perhaps best known for his role as high school student Arnold Dingfelder Horshack on the ABC sitcom Welcome Back Kotter, which aired from 1975 to 1979. After Welcome Back, Kotter, Palillo appeared in supporting roles in various television series and performed the voice in various animated series such as Laverne and Shirley in the Army, Darkwing Duck, and Rubik: The Amazing Cube where he played the lead character. In 1996, Palillo played himself in several episodes of Ellen, where he became the love interest of Ellen’s friend Audrey. He also played a small part on Friday the 13th Part VI.
Outside of acting, Palillo was also an artist, having provided the art for two children’s books: The Red Wings of Christmas and A Gift for the Contessa. He is credited on these as “Ronald G. Paolillo”, which he used in memory of his father. Palillo returned to New York in 1991, and played roles as Mozart in Amadeus, George in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls..
In 2005, his first full length play, The Lost Boy, the true story of Peter Pan author J.M. Barrie, was produced in New York State. Palillo was a teacher at G-Star School of the Arts for Motion Pictures and Broadcasting in Palm Springs. His partner of 41 years was Joseph Gramm.