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Goodbye, Kid: Gary Coleman (1968-2010)

The Kid: Actor Gary Coleman

Can we please have a moment of silence for . . .

Gary Coleman, a talented actor who became a child star while playing the lovable tyke Arnold Jackson on Diff'rent Strokes, died Friday (May 28) after suffering a brain hemorrhage. The 42-year-old actor severely injured his head on May 26 during a fall at his Utah home and was taken to a local hospital where he slipped into a coma and never recovered. Coleman was pulled off life support on Friday with his wife  Shannon Price and family members by his side. Coleman's manager John Alcantar released this following statement:

"We are very sad to have to report Mr. Gary Coleman has passed away as of 12:05 PM Mountain Time. He was removed from life support; soon thereafter, he passed quickly and peacefully. By Gary’s bedside were his wife and other close family members. Thanks to everyone for their well-wishing and support during this tragic time."

Coleman got his start in television with cameo appearances on Good Times and The Jeffersons before nabbing his first starring role at age 10 on the NBC sitcom Diff'rent Strokes. For eight seasons (1978-1986), he played Arnold Jackson whom he and his older brother Willis (played by Todd Bridges), were adopted by a rich white New York City businessman after their mother died. On the show, Gary made the words "What'choo talkin' 'bout" a national catchphrase. After hearing of Coleman's passing, Todd told E! Online: "It's unfortunate. "It's a sad day. It's sad that I'm the last kid alive from the show."

During his eight-season run on the show, Coleman also starred in a bunch of television movies, mostly with the word "Kid" in them. Among them were The Kid from Left Field (1979), The Kid with the Broken Halo (1982), The Kid with the 200 I.Q. (1983) and the feature-length film Jimmy the Kid (1982).

But success eluded Coleman in his adult life as he was plagued with financial issues (he filed for bankruptcy in 1999) and health problems (he suffered two seizures earlier this year).

In 2007, Coleman secretly married Shannon Price, who he met on the set of the 2006 movie Church Ball. A couple years later, Coleman's marriage becomes tabloid fodder after allegations of abuse on both sides came to light. In January 2010, Coleman was arrested on a separate domestic-violence warrant after he failed to attend a court date. A judge ordered the actor to pay a fine and attend a domestic violence class.

Coleman leaves behind his wife, Shannon. They have no children together. 

Rest Peacefully, Gary.


Journalist/critic Jimi Izrael says Gary Coleman is a Casualty of Popular Culture because fans wouldn't let him grow up.