Pop Culture

Readers bid farewell to 'Kotter's' Juan Epstein

Forget the usual goofy reality TV stories that often top our list of most popular posts in The Clicker for the week.

No, this time, readers said goodbye to a bit of their TV past with the death of Robert Hegyes on Thursday. The actor, who played Juan Epstein on "Welcome Back, Kotter," passed away on Thursday at the age of 60. He had suffered a heart attack.

"This really bites. I never missed an episode during its run. The acting world has lost a great talent. RIP Robert," Leanna M. Bowker wrote on our Facebook page.

"The death notice was signed 'Epstein's Mother,' " reader Michael M. Wiseman chimed in.

More tragic news came in No. 2 this week. "Teen Mom 2" star Leah Messer's fiance revealed in the new issue of OK! magazine that the young mother had miscarried the couple's child. "It's a devastating experience, but all I can do is support Leah and take things day by day," Jeremy Calvert told the mag.

Though readers are usually quick to bash the young ladies on the show, many sympathized with Messer's loss.

"Very sad - regardless of her personal life and problems she may or may not be having...a miscarriage is never easy," Kim Fitch Solecki wrote on our Facebook page.

"Even though I don't agree with her choices here, it's her life, and I would like to tell her that I am truly sorry that she has to go through the pain of losing her children with a miscarriage," wrote Heather Burns. "I feel for her and I hope she is supported through this difficult time in her life."

But it wasn't just depressing stories getting the majority of readers' attention. Some goofy fun snuck into the No. 3 spot when "Wheel of Fortune" host Pat Sajak admitted that he and letter turner Vanna White had hosted the game show drunk on numerous occasions during the '80s. The game-show host admitted in an interview that he and the lovely lady would often go to a nearby restaurant during their dinner break for a little drink.

"They served great margaritas," he recalled. "So Vanna and I would go across and have two or three or six and then come and do the last shows and have trouble recognizing the alphabet. They're really good tapes to get a hold of."

"They looked loaded back then...no wonder he kept tripping on his words so much...and that red nose he had," reader Suzanne Anderson recalled on our Facebook page.

"I find that really hysterical. Who knew? it was a stupid format. It is amazing it survived that," Janice Todd said.

Which TV stories brought a smile to your face this week? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.


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