Friday, May 28, 2010

Breaking News: Gary Coleman Dead At 42

Gary Coleman has died from a brain hemorrhage at an Utah hospital. The 42 year old actor was put on life support following the very serious medical crisis. Coleman also suffered from other serious health problems in his short lifetime due to kidney problems. His growth was permanently stunted due to treatments he had had to endure when his kidneys first failed at age 14.

The DIFFERENT STROKES star became controversial in later years after the show was canceled. But, Coleman was a beloved celebrity during the heyday of the popular series, where he always appeared to be be far younger than he actually was. His medical problems left him with the stature of a small child when DIFFERENT STROKES debuted on NBC.

Coleman was actually 10 years old when DIFFERENT STROKES debuted, and despite suffering serious health problems was one of the most gifted and intelligent child actors on TV at the time. His show became a household favorite for many families who loved both the comedy and the positive and wholesome messages the show sent about race relations, as a White father of a daughter adopts two African American children. The show left you with a warm feeling.

But, the later years of the celebrity were involved with more serious legal issues. Coleman once sued his parents and financial manager in 1989 when he claimed that $3.8 million of his money that he worked for had disappeared. He won a $1.2 million judgment. But, by 1999 Coleman found himself bankrupt.

Coleman did find some small roles in TV and films, but it never brought in the type of money he earned as a child on DIFFERENT STROKES. At one point, Coleman was even forced to work as a mall security guard and got sued by a woman who claimed that Coleman hit her during some sort of an incident.

Coleman also faced other small legal problems such as being cited for disorderly conduct during a public fight with his wife. On January 24, Coleman was arrested for a more serious domestic violence charge.

The death of Gary Coleman is the latest sad chapter in the DIFFERENT STROKES kids saga. Dana Plato didn't find much good work after the show ended, and resorted doing nude modeling for men's magazines and soft core porn movies. She was arrested while working at a dry cleaning business for robbing a video store across the street. Her life ended 1999 when she died from prescription drug abuse in a trailer. Todd Bridges also had a troubled life as well, facing serious legal problems for once shooting a drug dealer and later stabbing a man. Bridges was well defended by star lawyer Johnny Cochran, and a jury acquitted him of all charges in the shooting incident. And the prosecutor dropped charges in the stabbing incident, citing self-defense reasons.
Gary Coleman became a household phenomenon for his famous catch phrase from DIFFERENT STROKES, "What cha talking about Willis?" He was loved by many, and he'll be missed despite all his later legal problems and sad history as a troubled former child actor.


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