by Christopher Annino
“Actor, director, and writer Ron Pallilo grew up in Cheshire, CT. At the age of 14, he co-founded a theater company which later became profitable, called Black Friar’s Theater and named after Shakespeare’s first indoor theater.
Ron attended the UConn, where he majored in drama. After college, he worked with several well known theater companies, until he got his big break with landing the role of Horshack on the hit television series “Welcome Back Kotter.”
When the series ended in 1979, Ron kept working in television, film, and theater production’s around the world. Despite working with big names like John Travolta, Mickey Rooney, and being in numerous productions, Ron recalls a moment that best defied why he is an actor.
“During the sad days of 9/11, I had the privilege to play King Arthur in ‘Camelot.’ The story of the Round Table and how Arthur vainly tried to preserve it was incredibly resonant for the audience, and because of their reaction I remember never having been so moved, especially when speaking the final lines of the play, ‘Don’t let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief shining moment, that was known as Camelot.’ It was the way we were all feeling after that September tragedy – and I was proud to enunciate what so many thought about our country at the time; incredibly low but still proud. I will never forget it” explains Ron.
Throughout his years as an actor, Ron developed a simple hobby of sketching to an acclaimed skill. He illustrated two children’s books, “The Red Wings of Christmas” and “A Gift for the Contessa,” which earned very credible feedback. After an appearance on a talk show where he displayed some of his artwork, Ron was approached by two well known names of the garment world- Gary Bienstock and Harvey Legan in regard to using his illustrations for t-shirt designs. The company is called Welcome Back Designs, and you can purchase his designer shirts if you go to www.welcomebackdesigns.com.
Ron recently finished “The Curse of Micah Rood” which was filmed in the New London area. The film is based on a local legend, and was written by local Nick Checker and directed by Rhode Island resident and founder of Fire Site Films, Alec Asten. During the filming of “The Curse of Micah Rood,” Ron befriended Bristol resident Lisa Taylor who was in charge of wardrobe. Since then, she assisted Ron in his clothing line. “Lisa Taylor has been amazingly supportive in this endeavor,” commented Ron.