Jan 27, 2012

centerfieldmaz Remembers actor Robert Hegyes (Welcome Back Kotter's -Juan Epstein)

Today, centerfieldmaz  remembers Robert Hegyes who portrayed the character Juan Epstein, in one my favorite classic sitcoms Welcome Back Kotter.

Robert Hegyes was born May 7th, 1951 in Perth Amboy,New Jersey. He grew up in nearby Metuchen, NJ, attending high school there, then going to Rowan University at Glassboro, NJ. He began acting in a Greewich Village Theater group as a teen & got the part for Welcome Back Kotter at age 23 in 1974. In reality Hegyes was of Italian / Hungarian decent although he portrayed the Puerto Rican / Jewish "Sweat Hog" Juan Epstein.

On "Welcome Back Kotter"- Juan was one of many Epstein brothers & sisters. He usually wore cut off denim vests & sported a high afro. He was the tough guy of the sweat hogs, walking around with a bad ass strut & a red bandanna hangin out of his pocket. He was voted  "most likley to take a life" at Brooklyn's Buchanan high school by his classmates. The actor Hedgyes was a fan of the Marx Brothers & his resembelence to Harpo Marx made his impersonation of him on the show even stronger.

The funniest of all Epstein's antics was that he that he always had an excuse note for every occasion. "Hey Mr. Kotter I got a note". The note would be lip synched by Juan as Mr. Kotter read it aloud. The notes were always forged "Juan's mother" as it was obvious he had written them.

Welcome Back Kotter aired on TV from 1975-1979 reaching #18 in the ratings in its first season & #13 in its second season, before falling off. The show became a huge hit with a large cult following, spawning off comic books, lunch boxes, action figures & trading cards. The show has since  remained popular in reruns & in 2011 all living cast members (except Horseshack) were on hand to recieve a TV Land Award for its 35th anniversary. John Travolta is also godfather to Hegyes children.

The actor Robert Hegyes also had a recurring part in the show Cagney & Lacy. He made appearances on The Streets of San Francisco, Chico & the Man, CHIPS, Diagnosis Murder, the Drew Carey Show, News Radio, the $20, 0000 Pyramid & Saturday Night Live. He also was a star in the award winning Volkswagon commercial "The Chase" as well as making appearances in movies; Honeymoon Hotel, The Purpose & Bob Roberts.

Hegyes later taught acting, writing & public speaking at his alma mater Rowan University in New Jersey, as well as at Brooks College in Long Beach, California. Sadly, Hedgyes  passed away from a heart attack yesterday, January 26th in Edison New Jersey, he was 60 years old.

Jan 15, 2012

Giants Beat the Packers In Green Bay Once Again: Advance to NFC Championship Game

Today It's all about the football New York Giants. Another upset to another team that was suppose to be so good. The Giants continue to roll & beat whoever gets in their way, especially when it counts.

The Giants went North to Green Bay a place that has become very comfortable for them to play in, winning their second playoff game there in four years.

The defense removed Aaron Rogers silly imaginary belt & sacked him four times while taking the ball away another four times. 

There were Fumble recoveries by Antrel Rolle,  Deon Grant (who also had a late 4th Quarter intercetion) when he recovered the ball after Osi Umenyiora swatted it away from Rodgers, and then Chase Blackburns 4th Quarter recovery after after Kenny Phillips yanked it away from  Ryan Grant. That led to a Mario Manningham TD.

Now maybe everyone realizes how good Eli Manning is & that he is one of the NFL's elite quaterbacks. He completed 21 of 33 passes with three touch downs & his personal playoff best 330 yards. Also Eli was good enough to convert eight of sixteen trys (50%) on third down.

Hakeem Nicks made seven receptions for 165 yards, two touch downs including a 37 yard Hail Mary catch that will go down as one of the greatest in team history. Lawrence Tynes may have missed a field goal but he did get three others though the goal post.

The Packers, just like each team in the last month also tried to convert against the Giants defense in desperation on fourth down. As usual they were stopped, this time on a sack by Michael Boley.

As coach Coughlin always says, special teams are so important; so lets not forget the two on side kick recoveries for the Giants special teams.One by Victor Cruz who may not have had a touch down but did make a big fourth quarter third down catch as well (5 receptons for 74 yards).

It took a while for the running game to get going but in the end Ahmad Bradshaw put up 63 yards including a big fourth quarter run which led to Brandon Jacobs TD run.

Giant fans sit back, bask in the glory of victory for another week & get ready for the NFC Championship game next week!!!!!