Gary Coleman

Former Different Strokes actor Gary Coleman has died at the age of 42 after suffering a serious brain hemorrhage. The former child star, who suffered from a congenital kidney disease, was admitted to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center on Wednesday following a fall at his home. He was conscious after the accident but his condition got worse. On Thursday his manager, John Alcantar, said he was "unconscious and on life support". Coleman’s wife Shannon decided to take him off life support early on Friday and he died at around 12.05pm from an intracr anial hemorrhage. A statement released by his rep reads: "Thanks to everyone for their well wishing and support during this tragic time. Now that Gary has passed, we know he will be missed because of all the love and support shown in the past couple of days. "Gary is now at peace and his memory will be kept in the hearts of those who were entertained by him throughout the years." Coleman, the adopted son of nurse Edmonia Sue and her partner W.G. Coleman, began his television career in the early 1970s with small roles in The Jeffersons and the hit show Good Times before getting the role as Arnold Jackson in Different Strokes in 1978. He starred in the hit series for eight years with Todd Bridges, who played Willis Jackson, as two African-American boys adopted by wealthy white widower Phillip Drummond (Conrad Bain). Coleman became the show’s most popular star, known for his character’s catchphrase, "What’choo talkin’ ’bout Willis?" and eventually earned $100,000 per episode. He went on to score his own animated series, The Gary Coleman Show, and voiced his character for a year before it was axed in 1983.
He later won guest roles in a variety of small screen projects, including a cameo as Jackson in a 1996 episode of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and appearances in television shows My Wife and Kids and Married… with Children, and a voice over part in The Simpsons. Coleman also starred in a number of made-for-TV movies including The Kid with the Broken Halo (1982), Playing with Fire (1985), Fox Hunt (1996) and 2003’s A Christmas Carol. His last film role was in 2009’s Midgets vs. Mascots. Despite his many TV and film appearances, Coleman struggled financially and he successfully sued his parents and former manager in 1989 for misappropriating his $3.8 million trust fund. In 1993, h e was awarded $1.28 million. However, he filed for bankruptcy in 1999, citing the early mismanagement of his trust for his money problems. Coleman was also no stranger to the police, and was arrested on a few occasions for assault and disorderly conduct.
His most recent arrest happened last January when he was suspected of domestic violence following an alleged altercation with his wife Shannon Price, who he wed in 2007. He was slapped with a fine in February and ordered to attend domestic violence classes in exchange for avoiding jail. The actor also had many health problems, after undergoing two kidney transplants in 1973 and 1984, which required frequent dialysis. He had heart surgery last year, and spent the past few months in and out of hospital suffering from seizures, which saw him collapse during a round of telephone interviews in January. Coleman was hospitalised again in February, after another apparent seizure while on the set of hit television news show The Insider. He is survived by his wife Price, who he reunited with in April. The couple had no kids.

Editors Note: Gary Coleman had a very sad life. His many public health problems for so many years were huge tabloid headlines. I think I felt the worse when a story emerged a few years ago that Coleman was working as a security guard in a parking garage. It seems, the paparazzi were in the garage trying to get shots of Michael Jackson. When the security guard came up to them and told them they had to leave, it was Gary Coleman. It became a worldwide story, former child star working as security guard. It brought back memories of when I had money problems. Many years ago when I started in this business, I was not so money savvy. I needed to pay the rent, so I got a weekend job at a restaurant in Long Island to help catch up on the bills. It was a Friday night and I was waiting on this table. The night before I had been on the hit television show A Current Affair, doing a interview on Cher's daughter and her girlfriend. The table of four sat down and they started to talk about the show and how horrible that photographer was to talk about Cher and her daughter. They spent most of the meal trashing me, but they did not know their waiter was that photographer. When they were almost done with their main course, I looked at them and said, " Maybe the photographer had his reasons". They looked up at me like I was nothing and said, " What would you know, you are just a waiter". I stared back at them and said, yes I am, but I am also that photographer. They were in shock. One woman was yelling to her friends that it was the photographer. Needless to say, I was humiliated and so were they. They left me a fifty dollar tip. So I know what it is like to be on top and to be on the bottom. Many child stars have everything one day and nothing the next. When I saw that story of Gary Coleman working as a security guard, I felt for him. I knew how hard it was for him, but he was just trying to make a honest living and pay his bills. Everyone loves you when you are doing great, no one wants to know you when you are doing bad. Very sad world....

Photo By: Sara De Boer/Retna


monalisamouse said…
So true!