I try to keep things happy and light on Broken Cookies Don’t Count.  I had planned to tell you about a lemon that I brought home from Florida that’s bigger than my head. I had planned to tell you how proud I am for getting right back on track with Weight Watchers after 2 weeks in Florida.

Instead I have to talk about something sad.  Something that makes me feel old today and makes me want to reminisce about when I was so very much younger.

The news came by text at 6:30 this morning.  What a modern age we live in.  The text was from my sister, Ele, telling me that she had heard on the news that Robert Hegyes had died.  You might ask, why I should write a post about the passing of a TV actor?

I was lucky enough to know Bob.  We attended Glassboro State College together back in the 1970’s.  Yes…I’m That old.  Of course, it’s Rowan University now and from what I hear, it might soon be part of Rutgers University.  A step up?  I don’t know, but I don’t have all of the facts.

Back when Glassboro State College was a crazy, exciting, wonderful place to be, I was part of the Speech and Theatre Department.  The theatre department was a very insular, close-knit entity.  We were like a family with all of the characters, intrigues and secrets that are a part of many families.  We were all so much a part of each other’s lives back then.

Bob was part of this.  Thanks to the wonders of the internet, I can share a photo of Bob as I remember him in college.


That’s how I remember him…always smiling and full of fun. 

So many memories are coming back to me today.

I remember people referring to us as “Benson and Hegyes,” like the cigarettes. (My maiden name was Benson.)

I remember being locked in a booth with him for most of a day doing a radio production of “No Exit.” 

I remember helping him with costumes for a number of production, most memorably his “fat suit” for a production of “The Birthday Party.”  If I remember correctly, that thing had to be burned when the production was over.

Most of all I remember a kind and gentle man, as crazy as the rest of us were back then.  

He made us proud on “Welcome Back, Kotter.

And “Cagney and Lacey.”

The last time I saw him was at a theatre production at Rowan University, probably 10 or 15 years ago now.  But he was friendly and warm and I was happy to receive that great big bear hug I remembered so well.  Sending one, last hug to you today, Bob.

Rest In Peace, Old Friend.

10 responses to “Instead

  1. Oh Fran that is sad news. Your stomach must be in knots. Death is sad when it’s timely and seeing how this was untimely I hope his family and friends remember all the happy moments and memories.

  2. Hugs, Hugs, Hugs. I know how much fun you two had together. He was a cool guy. But, fortunately, with all of the TV work he did, you can see him again whenever you like.

  3. I’m sorry to hear about your friend, and your story made him more real. Thank you for sharing this

  4. Such a sweet, sad post – and a beautiful tribute to an old friend. Hugs to you, Fran.

  5. valerie andruss

    Just now saw this post – what a great tribute…

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