Welcome Back, Kotter (ABC) Sept. 9, 1975-Jun. 8, 1979 = 95 Episodesby TheDeadGodfather | created - 11 Mar 2014 | updated - 18 Sep 2016 | Public
The Complete Cast Information
The show starred stand-up comic/actor (now professional poker commentator/player) Gabriel 'Gabe' W. Kaplan as the title character, Gabe Kotter, a wisecracking teacher who returns to his alma mater high school. The fictional James Buchanan High in Brooklyn New York to teach an often unruly group of remedial loafers self-labeled as the "Sweathogs." (The nickname reflected the fact that the remedial classes were held on the very top floor of the high school.) The school was based on New Utrecht High School, which was used in the opening credits, and also the high school that Kaplan attended. The school's principal was perpetually absent, while the uptight vice principal, Michael Woodman (John Sylvester White), dismissed the Sweathogs as worthless hoodlums and only expected Kotter to attempt to contain them until they inevitably dropped out.
Kotter had attended the same remedial classes when he was a student at Buchanan, and was a founding member of the Sweathogs. Recognizing that he was his students' last chance to learn enough to survive beyond high school, he soon befriended them as they grew to recognize and appreciate his faith in their potential. His devotion to the class was such that his students often visited his Bensonhurst apartment, sometime via window, to the chagrin of his wife, Julie (Marcia Strassman). The Sweathogs celebrate a winning lottery ticket as Mr. Kotter looks on.
Many of the characters of Welcome Back, Kotter were based on people from Kaplan's teen-years as a remedial school student in Brooklyn. As a stand-up comic, one of Kaplan's routines was "Holes and Mellow Rolls", in which he talked in depth about his former classmates. The names of characters in Holes and Mellow Rolls: "Vinnie Barbarino" was inspired by Eddie Lecarri and Ray Barbarino, from Miami, FL; "Freddie 'Boom Boom' Washington" was inspired by Freddie "Furdy" Peyton; and "Juan Epstein" was partially inspired by Epstein "The Animal"; "Arnold *beep* was changed to "Arnold Horshack" for network television.
September 1975 – January 1976 Tuesday 8:30–9:00 pm January 1976 – August 1978 Thursday 8:00–8:30 pm September 1978 – October 1978 Monday 8:00–8:30 pm October 1978 – March 1979 Saturday 8:00–8:30 pm May 1979 – August 1979 Friday 8:00–8:30 pm
Season One (1975) #18 1 The Great Debate (9-Sep-1975) 2 Basket Case (16-Sep-1975) 3 Welcome Back (pilot) (23-Sep-1975) 4 Whodunit? (30-Sep-1975) 5 The Election (7-Oct-1975) 6 No More Mr. Nice Guy (14-Oct-1975) 7 Classroom Marriage (21-Oct-1975) 8 One of Our Sweathogs Is Missing (28-Oct-1975) 9 Mr. Kotter, Teacher (4-Nov-1975) 10 The Reunion (18-Nov-1975) 11 Barbarino's Girl (25-Nov-1975) 12 California Dreamin' (2-Dec-1975) 13 Arrividerci, Arnold (16-Dec-1975) 14 The Longest Weekend (6-Jan-1976) 15 The Sit-in (13-Jan-1976) 16 Follow the Leader (Part 1) (20-Jan-1976) 17 Follow the Leader (Part 2) (22-Jan-1976) 18 Dr. Epstein, I Presume (29-Jan-1976) 19 One Flu Over the Cuckoo's Nest (5-Feb-1976) 20 The Telethon (12-Feb-1976) 21 Kotter Makes Good (19-Feb-1976) 22 Father Vinnie (26-Feb-1976)
Season Two (1976) #13 1 Career Day (23-Sep-1976) 2 Inherit the Halibut (30-Sep-1976) 3 Sweatside Story (7-Oct-1976) 4 The Fight (21-Oct-1976) 5 The Museum (28-Oct-1976) 6 Gabe Under Pressure (4-Nov-1976) 7 Sweathog, Nebraska Style (11-Nov-1976) 8 Sadie Hawkins Day (18-Nov-1976) 9 Hello, Ms. Chips (2-Dec-1976) 10 Horshack vs. Carvelli (9-Dec-1976) 11 Sweathog Clinic for the Cure of Smoking (16-Dec-1976) 12 Hark, the Sweatkings (23-Dec-1976) 13 A Love Story (30-Dec-1976) 14 Caruso's Way (6-Jan-1977) 15 Sweatgate Scandal (13-Jan-1977) 16 Kotter and Son (20-Jan-1977) 17 Chicken a la Kotter (27-Jan-1977) 18 Has Anyone Here Seen Arnold? (Part 1) (3-Feb-1977) 19 There Goes Number 5 (Part 2) (3-Feb-1977) 20 The Littlest Sweathog (10-Feb-1977) 21 Radio Free Freddie (17-Feb-1977) 22 I'm Having Their Baby (24-Feb-1977) 23 I Wonder Who's Kissing Gabe Now (3-Mar-1977)
Season Three (1977) #27 1 Sweathog Back to School Special (10-Sep-1977) 2 And Baby Makes Four (Part 1) (15-Sep-1977) 3 And Baby Makes Four (Part 2) (15-Sep-1977) 4 The Visit (Part 3) (22-Sep-1977) 5 Buddy, Can You Spare a Million? (29-Sep-1977) 6 Just Testing (6-Oct-1977) 7 The Deprogramming of Arnold Horshack (13-Oct-1977) 8 What a Move! (20-Oct-1977) 9 A Novel Idea (27-Oct-1977) 10 Barbarino in Love (Part 1) (3-Nov-1977) 11 Barbarino in Love (Part 2) (10-Nov-1977) 12 Kotter for Vice-Principal (17-Nov-1977) 13 Swine and Punishment (24-Nov-1977) 14 Epstein's Madonna (8-Dec-1977) 15 A Sweathog Christmas Special (15-Dec-1977) 16 Sweatwork (22-Dec-1977) 17 Meet Your New Teacher (5-Jan-1978) 18 Angie (12-Jan-1978) 19 Epstein's Term Paper (19-Jan-1978) 20 There's No Business (Part 1) (26-Jan-1978) 21 There's No Business (Part 2) (2-Feb-1978) 22 What Goes Up (9-Feb-1978) 23 Goodbye, Mr. Kripps (16-Feb-1978) 24 Horshack and Madame X (23-Feb-1978) 25 The Kiss (9-Mar-1978) 26 The Return of Hotsy Totsy (11-May-1978) 27 Class Encounters of the Carvelli Kind (18-May-1978)
Season Four (1978) Not in Top 30 1 The Drop-Ins (Part 1) (11-Sep-1978) 2 The Drop-Ins (Part 2) (11-Sep-1978) 3 Beau's Jest (18-Sep-1978) 4 Don't Come Up and See Me Sometime (25-Sep-1978) 5 Once Upon a Ledge (2-Oct-1978) 6 The Sweatmobile (9-Oct-1978) 7 Barbarino's Boo Boo (21-Oct-1978) 8 X-rated Education (28-Oct-1978) 9 The Barbarino Blues (4-Nov-1978) 10 Washington's Clone (11-Nov-1978) 11 Frog Day Afternoon (25-Nov-1978) 12 A Little Fright Music (2-Dec-1978) 13 A Winter's Coat Tale (16-Dec-1978)****1/2 14 Bride and Gloom (13-Jan-1979)****1/2 15 Barbarino's Baby (3-Feb-1979)****1/2 16 The Goodbye Guy (10-Feb-1979)*** 17 Come Back, Little Arnold (24-Feb-1979)*** 18 The Sweat Smell of Success (3-Mar-1979)*** 19 The Gang Show (17-Mar-1979)**1/2 20 Oo-Oo, I Do (Part 1) (25-May-1979)* 21 Oo-Oo, I Do (Part 2) (25-May-1979)* 22 I'm Okay, But You're Not (1-Jun-1979)**1/2 23 The Breadwinners (8-Jun-1979)**
1. Gabe Kaplan
Writer | Welcome Back, Kotter
March 31, 1945 "Aries/Rooster" in Brooklyn, New York
Gabe Kotter/Creator/Writer (1975-1979)***1/2
Actor | Battlefield Earth
John Joseph Travolta was born in Englewood, New Jersey, one of six children of Helen Travolta (née Helen Cecilia Burke) and Salvatore/Samuel J. Travolta. His father was of Italian descent and his mother was of Irish ancestry. His father owned a tire repair shop called Travolta Tires in Hillsdale, ...
John Joseph Travolta
February 18, 1954 "Aquarius/Horse" in Englewood, New Jersey
Vinnie Barbarino (1975-1979)*****
Actor | Welcome Back, Kotter
Robert Hegyes was born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, to an Hungarian-American father, Stephen, and an Italian-American mother, Marie Dominica (Cocozza). He is the eldest of their children. The others are: Mark Hegyes, MD - Billings, Montana, Ms. Stephanie Hegyes - Princeton, New Jersey, and Ms. ...
May 7, 1951 "Taurus/Rabbit" in Perth Amboy, New Jersey - January 26, 2012 (age 60) in Metuchen, New Jersey (heart attack)
Juan Luis Pedro Felipo de Huevos Epstein (1975-1979)*****
Actor | L.A. Heat
Lawrence-Hilton Jacobs was born in New York City. He is one of nine children born to Hilton and Clothilda Jacobs. Larry, as his family and friends call him, attended public schools in New York City, so he has first-hand knowledge of what it is like to be a student in a big-city high school like the...
September 4, 1953 "Virgo/Snake" in New York City
Freddie 'Boom Boom' Washington (1975-1979)****
5. Ron Palillo
At 14, Ron Palillo (born Ronald Gabriel Paolillo) started his own summer theater in Cheshire, Connecticut. His parents, Gabriel and Carmel Paolillo, were surprised when the summer theater actually made money. After graduating from high school, Ron went to the University of Connecticut at Storrs, ...
Ronald Gabriel Paolillo
April 2, 1949 "Aries/Ox" in Cheshire, Connecticut - August 14, 2012 (age 63) in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida (heart attack)
Arnold Horshack (1975-1979)*
Actress | Honey, I Blew Up the Kid
This tall, willowy brunette (frequently blonde) was born April 28, 1948, in New York City, one of four children. Raised in Passaic, New Jersey, she grew into a striking young teen and worked for a time as a model in a local children's department store. Trekking back to New York City equipped only ...
Marcia A. Strassman
April 28, 1948 "Taurus/Rat" in New York City - October 24, 2014 (age 66) in Sherman Oaks, California (breast cancer)
Julie Kotter (1975-1979)**
Actor | Welcome Back, Kotter
John Sylvester White was born on October 31, 1919 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. He was an actor, known for Welcome Back, Kotter (1975), Search for Tomorrow (1951) and Kojak (1973). He was married to Joan Alexander. He died on September 11, 1988 in Waikiki, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.
October 31, 1919 "Scorpio/Goat" in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - September 11, 1988 (age 68) in Waikiki, Honolulu, Hawaii (pancreatic cancer)
Mr. Michael Woodman (1975-1979)***1/2
Actor | Say Anything...
Stephen Shortridge was born in Iowa and raised in Southern California. Stephen excelled in art throughout his schooling but had mainly studied commercial art. He took his first painting class while attending Idaho State University on a Water Polo Scholarship - Stephen was an All-American.
Stephen Charles Shortridge
October 23, 1951 "Scorpio/Rabbit" in Red Oak, Iowa
Beau De Labarre (1978-1979)**1/2
Actress | The Time Traveler's Wife
Helaine Lembeck was born on April 15, 1952 in Los Angeles, California, USA as Helaine Jo Lembeck. She is known for her work on The Time Traveler's Wife (2009), Flightplan (2005) and Invincible (2006).
Helaine Jo Lembeck
April 15, 1952 "Aries/Dragon" in Los Angeles, California
Judy Borden (1975-1978)*1/2
10. Vernee Watson
Actress | Christmas with the Kranks
Vernee Watson was born on January 14, 1954 in North Trenton, New Jersey, USA as Vernee Christell Watson. She is an actress, known for Christmas with the Kranks (2004), The Kid (2000) and Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993). She was previously married to Van Johnson and Joe Duckett.
Vernee Christell Watson
January 14, 1954 "Capricorn/Horse" in North Trenton, New Jersey
Vernajean Williams (1975-1977)*1/2
Actor | Who Framed Roger Rabbit
Charles Fleischer was born on August 27, 1950 in Washington, District of Columbia, USA. He is an actor, known for Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) and Back to the Future Part II (1989).
August 27, 1950 "Virgo/Tiger" in Washington, D.C.
12. Bob Harcum
Actor | What's Happening!!
13. Debralee Scott
Actress | Police Academy
Debralee Scott was born on April 2, 1953 in Elizabeth, New Jersey, USA. She was an actress, known for Police Academy (1984), Police Academy 3: Back in Training (1986) and Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman (1976). She died on April 5, 2005 in Amelia Island, Florida, USA.
April 2, 1953 "Aries/Snake" in Elizabeth, New Jersey - April 5, 2005 (age 52) in Amelia Island, Florida
Rosalie 'Hotsy' Totsy (1975-1978)***
14. Dennis Bowen
Actor | Martial Law
Dennis Bowen was born on September 9, 1950 in Gainesville, Florida, USA as Dennis Keith Bowen. He was an actor, known for Martial Law (1998), ABC Saturday Comedy Special (1976) and Van Nuys Blvd. (1979). He died on March 9, 2012 in Toluca Lake, Los Angeles, California, USA.
Dennis Keith Bowen
September 9, 1950 "Virgo/Tiger" in Gainesville, Florida - March 9, 2012 (age 61) in Toluca Lake, Los Angeles, California
Todd Ludlow (1975-1977)*
15. Irene Arranga
Actress | Secrets of Midland Heights
Irene Arranga was born on December 14, 1950 in the USA. She is an actress, known for Secrets of Midland Heights (1980), I Wanna Hold Your Hand (1978) and Sally (1979). She has been married to Julio Martinez since May 12, 1979.
December 14, 1950 "Sagittarius/Tiger"
Mary Johnson (1978-1979)*
16. Melonie Haller
Actress | Hollywood 90028
Angie Globagoski (1978)**
17. Alan Sacks
Writer | Du-beat-e-o
18. James Komack
Producer | The Courtship of Eddie's Father
James Komack was born on August 3, 1924 in New York City, New York, USA. He was a producer and writer, known for The Courtship of Eddie's Father (1969), Chico and the Man (1974) and Welcome Back, Kotter (1975). He was married to Marilyn Cluny Cohen. He died on December 24, 1997 in Los Angeles, ...
August 3, 1924 "Leo/Rat" in New York City - December 24, 1997 (age 73) in Los Angeles, California (heart failure)