Gary Coleman Dead At 42

May 28, 2010

Gary Coleman, 42, the diminutive, wisecracking child star of the sitcom “Diff’rent Strokes,” died Friday at a hospital in Provo, Utah. He suffered an intercranial brain hemorrhage after falling at his home in Santaquin, Utah.

Gary Coleman Dead at 42

Utah Valley Regional Medical Center spokeswoman Janet Frank says life support was terminated and Coleman died at 12:05 p.m. Coleman was hospitalized Wednesday after falling and suffering a head injury at his home south of Salt Lake City, according to family members.

Gary Coleman

Mr. Coleman was 10 when he stepped into the national spotlight in 1978, playing the witty, lovable Arnold Jackson on NBC’s “Diff’rent Strokes.” The role was created for him and made Mr. Coleman the best-known child star on television for the eight years the hit comedy was on the air. He played the younger of two orphaned African-American brothers adopted by a white Manhattan millionaire after the death of their mother, the rich man’s housekeeper. The show was a comedic showcase for Mr. Coleman, who looked younger than his actual age because his growth had been stunted by a congenital kidney condition. His signature line, “Whatchoo talkin’ ’bout, Willis?” became a national catchphrase.

Gary Coleman Child Actor Dies

His adult life was plagued by domestic disputes, health issues and legal troubles. Despite his real-life travails, Coleman will remain an ’80s TV icon, a quick-witted boy whose onscreen charm lives on in television syndication.

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