Diff’rent Strokes Gary Coleman Dies At 42
Well known as the child star of the TV sitcom Diff’rent Strokes, Gary Coleman passed away at the age of 42 on Friday after suffering an intercranial hemorrhage.
He was admitted to the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center Wednesday after falling and suffering a head injury at his home in Salt Lake City.
Gary Coleman is best remembered on Diff’rent Strokes, playing Arnold Jackson, who, with his brother Willis (Todd Bridges), was adopted by a wealthy, white Manhattan man (Conrad Bain) and his daughter (Dana Plato).
During the height of Diff’rent Strokes, Coleman reportedly received up to $100,000 an episode. And beginning in 1980, he won four consecutive People’s Choice Awards as Favorite Young TV Performer
But later in his life, he ran into several financial and marriage troubles which led him to be the butt of jokes for comedians and he even inspired a character by the same name in the Tony-winning musical Avenue Q.
Through it all, Coleman maintained his perspective and sense of humor. “I parody myself every chance I get,” he said. “I try to make fun of myself and let people know that I’m a human being, and these things that have happened to me are real. I’m not just some cartoon who exists and suddenly doesn’t exist.”
Despite his real-life travails, Coleman will remain an ’80s TV icon, a quick-witted boy whose onscreen charm lives on in television syndication.