• Gabe Kaplan is an American actor, comedian, writer and poker player born in 194•
• He wrote all 95 episodes of the comedy series “Welcome Back, Kotter” which starred John Travolta and won three of its 15 award nominations.
• He has appeared in 13 movies and TV series, with four writing credits.
• He is a financial investor, author, and has occasionally performed stand-up comedy.
• His net worth is estimated to be over $50 million.
Who is Gabe Kaplan?
American actor, comedian, writer and poker player Gabriel Weston ‘Gabe’ Kaplan was born in Brooklyn, New York City USA, on 31 March 1945, making his zodiac sign Aries. He’s appeared in 13 movies and TV series and has four writing credits, while he’s probably still known best for writing all the 95 episodes of the comedy series “Welcome Back, Kotter”, in which he also starred, alongside Ron Palillo and John Travolta. It follows a teacher as he’s educating a group of troublemaking kids, the series aired from 1975 through 1979, and won three of its 15 award nominations.
This was also Gabe’s debut TV series role.
Education and early life
Gabe was raised in Brooklyn an only child, by his Jewish parents Dorothy and Charles Kaplan; it’s believed that his father was a high school soccer coach, and his mother a housewife.
He was mostly interested in baseball during his teenage years, and played several games for his New Utrecht High School’s team, however, he failed to join a minor league team, and thus dropped out of school at the age of 16.
Gabe then worked various jobs to financially support himself, initially moving to Lakewood, New Jersey where he worked in a hotel as a bellman. Stand-up comedians often visited the hotel, which motivated Gabe to become one himself; some of his first performances were at the Café Tel Aviv in New York City in 1964.
It didn’t take long for Gabe to become popular for his sense of humor, and he went on to tour around New York State in the following 10 years. From May 1973 through December 1974, he made five guest appearance in the critically acclaimed comedy “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson”, and then released his comedy album “Holes and Mello-Rolls”; Gabe later based his sitcom “Welcome Back, Kotter” on his comedy acts.
Roles in movies
Gabe’s debut film role was playing Stan Nichols in the 1976 romantic comedy “The Love Boat”, directed by Alan Myerson and Richard Kinon, and which starred Don Adams, Tom Bosley and Florence Henderson; it follows a group of people travelling on a cruise ship from California to Mexico.
In 1979, Gabe portrayed David Greene in the sports comedy “Fast Break”, and the year 1981 saw him appear in two movies: the comedy “Nobody’s Perfekt”, and the romantic comedy “Tulips”.
He played Anthony DePalma in the 1984 family comedy “The Hoboken Chicken Emergency”, directed by Peter Baldwin, and which starred Benny Baker, Vivian Bonnell and Hamilton Camp. It follows Arthur who’s brought home a 266lbs chicken called Henrietta for Thanksgiving dinner.
Gabe’s since appeared in only two movies: he played Richie in the 2001 comedy “Jack the Dog”, and Seth Schwartzman in the 2007 comedy “The Grand”.
Roles in TV series
Gabe played the lead character Stewart Lewis in all the 13 episodes of the popular 1982 comedy “Lewis & Clark”, which also starred Guich Koock and Ilene Graff, and follows a family man who’s dreaming of owning a country music club.
In 1984, Gabe played Freddy York in the episode “Birds of a Feather” of the crime mystery “Murder, She Wrote”, and he’s since had only a single TV series role: he voiced Abe Ziegler in the 2018 episode “Head in the Clouds” of the critically acclaimed animated comedy “BoJack Horseman”. Raphael Bob-Waksberg created the series, which starred Alison Brie, Amy Sedaris and Will Arnett, and follows the life of BoJack Horseman who was once a famous sitcom actor; the series aired from 2014 through 2020 and won 35 of its 84 award nominations.
Did a sports radio show back in the day. Just discovered something that poker players should enjoy listening to. It's an interview from 1990 with Doyle, Stuey and Chip. A little dated in attitudes but still fun to hear the three of them together. https://t.co/B4QEtLQVcX
— Gabe Kaplan (@GabeKaplan) July 30, 2022
Gabe received special thanks for the 1996 episode “If You’re Going to Write a Comedy Scene, You’re Going to Have Some Rat Feaces in There” of the comedy “Mr. Show with Bob and David”.
Some of his talk-show appearances have been in “Good Morning America”, “Gotham Comedy Live” and “WTF with Marc Maron”.
Awards and nominations
Gabe won two TV Land Awards for Teacher of the Year in 2003 and 2006, both for his performance in “Welcome Back, Kotter”.
Gabe’s first professional tournament was the 1978 World Series of Poker, and he became one of the best poker players in the following two years, winning the Amarillo Slim’s Super Bowl of Poker; from 1980 through 1985, he reached the finals at the Super Bowl of Poker’s main event twice.
Gabe competed in the World Poker Tour’s No-Limit Texas Hold’em event in July 2004, placing third and winning over $250,000. The following year saw him win over $220,000 at the World Series of Poker Limit Hold’Em event, and in 2007, he won the NBC’s Poker After Dark event.
Gabe placed #9 at the 2007 World Series of Poker, and won the NBC’s Poker After Dark event again in February 2008, and in January 2010.
Wife and children
Gabe’s kept nearly all the details of his love life hidden from media, and while it’s known that he has a daughter, the name and Gabe’s relation to her mother haven’t been disclosed.
His daughter Rachel Kaplan was born in 1990, and while most people believe that Gabe and Rachel’s mother were married, this hasn’t been addressed by Gabe nor have his fans been able to find documents which could prove this; some of his fans believe that they were in a relationship which lasted for several years, and that they broke up while Rachel was still a toddler.
Gabe seems to be single as of January 2023, might have been married once, and has a daughter from a previous relationship/marriage.
Interesting facts and hobbies
Gabe’s a financial investor.
He worked for ESPN in 2002, covering that year’s World Series of Poker, and for CNBC in 2005, covering the National Heads-Up Poker Challenge.
Gabe’s an author, and his book “Kotter’s Back: E-mails from a Faded Celebrity to a Bewildered World” was published in 2007, in which he claims that he’s good at Cossack dancing, is smart enough to join Mensa, and has slept with more women than the late American professional basketball player Wilton Norman Chamberlain, whatever that means!
He’s still passionate about stand-up comedy, and occasionally performs; his favorite stand-up comedians are the late Robin William and Bill Burr.
Gabe’s favorite actors are Christian Bale and Jim Carrey, and some of his favorite movies include “The Pale Blue Eyes”, “The Big Short” and “Vice”.
Height, eyes and wealth
Gabe’s age is 77. He has brown eyes and black hair, is 5ft 11ins (1.82m) tall and weighs about 170lbs (78kgs).
Gabe’s net worth’s been estimated at over $50 million, as of January 2023.