01/26/2012 AT 06:35 PM EST
Robert Hegyes, best known as John Travolta's fellow "Sweathog" Juan Epstein on the sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter
, has died. He was 60
Hegyes died from an apparent heart attack after having chest pains, The Star-Ledger
reports. His brother tells the New Jersey paper the actor had suffered a heart attack in the last couple of years and was not well.
Hegyes, who was born in New Jersey, played a wise-cracking Jewish Puerto Rican student with an infectious wide grin. He co-starred in the classic comedy with a young Travolta, who played Vinnie Barbarino.
Hegyes also acted in Cagney and Lacey NewsRadio, Diagnosis Murder
and The Drew Carey Show.