Categorized | Entertainment, Television, US

‘Diff’rent Strokes’ Star, Pop Culture Icon Gary Coleman Dies

Former child star and pop culture icon Gary Coleman has died at the age of 42.

Gary Coleman

Gary Coleman

Coleman, best known for his role as Arnold Jackson on the 1970s/1980s sitcom “Diff’rent Strokes,” died after suffering an intracranial (brain) hemorrhage earlier this week.  He was unconscious and on life support at a Utah hospital, but was taken off life support on Friday.

“Child actor Gary Coleman died at approximately 12:05 p.m. Mountain Standard Time at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center,” hospital representative Janet Frank said in an e-mailed statement, according to ABC News. “Family members and close friends were at his side when life support was terminated.”

Coleman’s life after “Diff’rent Strokes” included years of financial, legal, and health troubles, including a congenital kidney condition.  He suffered seizures in January and again later February on the set of “The Insider.”

Coleman is believed to have suffered the brain hemorrhage following a fall on Wednesday, but complete details were not yet available.

As for his personal life, Coleman married Shannon Price, in 2007.  Their relationship had its ups and downs with the couple claiming to have frequent fights.  They appeared on “Divorce Court” together in 2008, not to end their marriage, but to save it.

Coleman was arrested in January for failing to appear in court after a domestic disturbance with Price.  The Internet was buzzing when his “scary” mug shot was released (read more and view it here.)

Fans of pop culture know Coleman for his infamous line from “Diff’rent Strokes” …. “Whatchoo talkin’ ’bout Willis?”  Willis was played by Todd Bridges, who has had some legal and drug troubles of his own, but has gotten his life back in order in recent years.  And to add to the trouble of the “Diff’rent Strokes” cast, actress Dana Plato also had legal and drug troubles, and died from an apparent overdose.   And just recently, Plato’s son committed suicide, with family saying he never got over the loss of his mother. 

The media has called the troubles of the cast members a “Diff’rent Strokes” curse.  However, Todd Bridges has overcome his troubles and the patriarch of the clan, Conrad Bain, is still alive and doing well.

Farewell, Arnold Jackson/Gary Coleman. Thanks for the laughs and memories.

Share your memories of Gary Coleman below.

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