A memorial celebration to honor the life and career of Cheshire Connecticut native Ron Palillo, best known as Horshack on TV’s "Welcome Back, Kotter" will be ob Wednesday, Oct. 3 at 6 p.m. at The Triad Theatre, 158 West 72nd St. in New York.
Palillo died in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. on August, 14 of a heart attack. The Memorial Tribute is being co directed by Palillo’s close friend and Connecticut native actor/director Bob Dio, NYC’s choreographer/actor Lawrence Leritz and Palillo’s Literary Publicist Elaine Devlin.
Television and Broadway star, Tyne Daly, a longtime friend of Palillo, will host the event.
Performers and speakers include Broadway and Film Star, Anita Gillette, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs (Sweat hog, Boom Boom Washington), Robert Bartley, Lawrence Leritz, Elaine Devlin and Palillo's life partner Joseph Gramm.
Gabe Kaplan will remember Ron Palillo as will John Travolta, Marcia Strassman, Donna Pescow and Bruce Vilanch who have each written statements to be read at the Memorial Tribute.
Other highlights include a reading from Palillo's play, "The Lost Boy" and a special video tribute.
After "Welcome Back, Kotter," Palillo appeared in various television series and films. He voiced characters on such animated series as Laverne & Shirley in the Army and Rubik, the Amazing Cube, in which he played the lead character. In 1996, Palillo played himself on several episodes of the television sitcom "Ellen," playing Audrey (Ellen's friend)'s love interest. Ron also spent a year on the popular daytime show, "One Life To Live" and also acted in "Friday the 13th, Part VI, Jason Lives" (1986) and the lead in "The Curse of Micah Rood".
He returned to New York in 1991, and played such roles as Mozart in "Amadeus" and regionally as George in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”, Arthur in “Camelot” and Nathan Detroit in "Guys and Dolls.
"Ron appeared on Broadway in 2008 in "Broadway Backwards 4," a charity event benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center.
Among his other New York City credits was a one-person show in 2000 where he portrayed Nazi criminal Adolf Eichmann in The Diary of Adolf Eichmann Off-Broadway. Palillo was also a talented writer and artist. In 2005, his first full-length play, The Lost Boy, the true story of Peter Pan author J. M. Barrie, premiered at the Helen Hayes Theatre in Nyack, New York and later played at the Queens Theatre in The Park. As an artist, Ron provided the art for two children's books: The Red Wings of Christmas and A Gift for the Contessa.