Friday, May 28, 2010

Gary Coleman, R.I.P.

Gary Coleman has died.

The Diff'rent Strokes star succumbed at 12:05 p.m. (MST) today at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center to a brain hemorrhage suffered at his home Wednesday, a statement from his management firm said. He was 42.

"Conscious and lucid" yesterday morning, per the statement, the former child star was on life support by Thursday afternoon.

"Family members and close friends were at his side when life support was terminated" today, the statement said.

From 1978 to 1986, Coleman cracked wise as perennial kid Arnold Jackson on the sitcom Diff'rent Strokes. His timing, chubby cheeks and catchphrase ("Whatchu talkin' 'bout?") helped make Coleman the highest paid child actor of his era.

A one-kid powerhouse, Coleman fronted his own Saturday morning cartoon show, bantered with Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show, worked with Lucille Ball, and hosted first lady Nancy Reagan on a famous 1983 anti-drug episode of Diff'rent Strokes. He starred in the big-screen comedies Jimmy the Kid and On the Right Track, the latter of which traded on his real-life love of trains, and cranked out TV-movie (The Kid from Left Field) after TV-movie (The Kid with the Broken Halo) after TV-movie (The Kid with the 200 I.Q.). For four straight years, from 1980-1983, Coleman was named Favorite Young TV Performer at the People's Choice Awards.

Coleman's acting career all but ended with the onset of adulthood. He, along with his prime-time siblings, Todd Bridges and Dana Plato, who suffered their own post-sitcom troubles, became the symbol, and punchline, of former child stardom.

Read the rest of the story at E! Online.

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