Robert Hegyes, best remembered for his role as Epstein on the 1970’s sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter, passed away today in a New Jersey hospital near his home.
Hegyes, who had been in poor health for some time, developed chest pains this morning and was rushed to the emergency room at JFK Medical Center in Edison. On the way, Hegyes went into full cardiac arrest. He was pronounced dead shortly thereafter.
Born to a Hungarian-American father and an Italian-American mother, Hegyes was raised in Metuchen, which he continued to call home throughout his life.
Getting his first big break starring in the off-Broadway play Naomi Court, it wasn’t long after that he was cast in the role that came to define his career — Sweathog Juan Luis Pedro Phillipo de Huevos Epstein.
After Kotter, Hegyes made several one-off appearances on several TV shows, and later earned a recurring role on CBS’s Cagney & Lacey as Det. Manny Esposito.
He retired from acting, but remained actively involved in the craft, teaching courses and writing screenplays. Most recently, Hegyes expressed interest in directing, but his health problems kept him from realizing his ambition.
Why investors pay lower taxes…
Congress has long set a lower tax rate for investment income, citing the benefit to the economy. But 87% of capital gains are claimed by people making more than $200,000 a year.
Why do Mitt Romney and other wealthy investors pay lower taxes on the income they make from investments than they would if they earned their millions from wages?
Because Congress, through the tax code, has long treated investment more favorably than labor, seeing it as an engine for economic growth that benefits everyone.
President Barack Obama and the Occupy Wall Street movement are challenging that value system, raising volatile election-year issues of equity, fairness — and Romney’s tax returns.
Romney, who released his 2010 and 2011 tax returns this week, has been forced to defend the fact that he paid a tax rate of about 15% on an annual income of $21 million. His tax rate is equivalent to the one paid in 2011 by those making $16,751 to $68,000 who were married and filed jointly. His income, however, is 420 times higher than that of the typical U.S. household.
The Republican presidential candidate’s taxes were so low because the vast majority of his income came from investments. The United States has long had a progressive income tax, in which people who make more money pay taxes at a higher rate than those who make less. But for almost as long, the United States has taxed capital gains — the profit from selling an investment — at a lower rate than wages.