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John Travolta and Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs Share Heartwarming Reunion at TCM Film Festival

This week saw a nostalgic reunion as Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, famously known as Freddy “Boom-Boom” Washington, gave his former Welcome Back, Kotter co-star, John Travolta, a delightful surprise on the red carpet at the TCM Classic Film Festival.

The gathering was part of this year’s festival, which featured a special celebration of Pulp Fiction, marking 30 years since its release in October 1993. The festival shared a video capturing the warm encounter between the two actors, showcasing their enduring camaraderie with no antics spared.

Welcome Back, Kotter, which aired on ABC from 1975 to 1979, is remembered for its portrayal of a diverse group of high school students, termed “Sweathogs,” in a remedial class at the fictional James Buchanan High School in Brooklyn. The series starred Gabe Kaplan as the eponymous teacher, Gabe Kotter. Travolta rose to fame through his role as the charming tough guy Vinnie Barbarino, while Hilton-Jacobs played the talented basketball player, Freddie.

The show’s memorable cast also included Marcia Strassman as Kotter’s wife Julie, John Sylvester White as the cantankerous vice principal Woodman, and fellow “Sweathogs” portrayed by Ron Palillo (Horshack) and Robert Hegyes (Epstein).

The cast had previously gathered in 2011 at the TV Land Awards to celebrate Welcome Back, Kotter, with Kaplan, Strassman, Travolta, Hegyes, Hilton-Jacobs, and Ellen Travolta (John’s sister who played Horshack’s mother on the show) all in attendance.

Sadly, the show has seen the loss of several beloved members, including White in 1988, Palillo and Hegyes in 2012, and Strassman in 2014. However, moments like these reunions serve as a poignant reminder of the enduring legacy and the bonds formed through this iconic series.

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