Rapper-turned-actor Ice Cube has signed up to play the lead role in a feature film adaptation of 1970s sitcom WELCOME BACK, KOTTER. The former NWA star, real name O'SHEA JACKSON, will star as wise-cracking teacher Gabe Kotter, who returns to his inner-city high school to teach a class of likeable tearaways. Hollywood star John Travolta launched his career by playing Vinnie Barbarino in the original ABC network sitcom, which ran from 1975 to 1979. The film is scheduled to start production this autumn (06), according to AllHipHop.com.