Fast Facts

  • Originally aspired to become a Major League baseball player.
  • Began his stand-up career by performing in small nightclubs, coffee houses and Playboy clubs.
  • Big break came during the early 1970s, when he made five appearances on The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson.
  • Best-known for the role of Gabe Kotter, teacher of a class of underachievers, on Welcome Back, Kotter, a series he cocreated based on his own high-school experiences.
  • An avid poker player, he made his first appearance at the World Series of Poker in 1978.
  • Biggest poker win came in July of 2004, as he placed third in a World Poker Tour Texas Hold 'Em event, netting more than $250,000.


  • Dorothy Kaplan — Mother
  • Rachel Kaplan — Daughter
  • Charles Kaplan — Father


  • Birth Name: Gabriel Kaplan
  • Birth Place: Brooklyn, NY
  • Profession: Actor, Comedian, Poker player

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