May 28, 2010

'Diff'rent Strokes' actor Gary Coleman dies at 42

Posted: 03:07 PM ET

(CNN) - Former child star Gary Coleman, who rose to fame as the wisecracking youngster Arnold Jackson on the TV sitcom "Diff'rent Strokes" but grew up to grapple with a troubled adulthood, has died. He was 42.

Coleman died of a brain hemorrhage at a Provo, Utah hospital, Friday afternoon, according to a hospital spokeswoman. The actor fell ill at his Santaquin, Utah, home Wednesday evening and was rushed by ambulance to a hospital, Coleman's spokesman had said in a statement earlier Friday.

He was then taken to another hospital - Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo - later Wednesday night.

In the late '70s and early '80s, Coleman was one of television's brightest stars, the personality around which NBC's "Strokes" - the story of two inner-city children who are taken in by a wealthy businessman, his daughter and their housekeeper - was built.


Filed under: Celebrity News • CNN

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Kristy Lynn   May 28th, 2010 3:49 pm ET

Rest in peace.

Nan   May 28th, 2010 4:49 pm ET

I was shocked today when I read that Gary Coleman died. I loved that Diff Strokes when I was younger and walked around saying the catch phrase: "What you talkin about!" It made my mother smile every time. Gary, you will be sorely missed 🙁

Cajazz76:24:8   May 28th, 2010 4:54 pm ET

With so many disadvantages life presented to Gary Coleman, he had the worst of the worst to contend with it for 42 years. It's a time for all the media to leave his legacy and legitimate survivors alone and let them, his family, have the opportunity to deal with their wrongs toward him. He was, by the purest definition, a victim of the ills of discriminatory elevated unworthy tabloid junk journalism and parental greed. I offer no condolences to his parents because they were nothing more than abusers of his notoriety and monetary gains as a child actor. 'Rest in peace' is what I wish all will grant him.

Adrienne   May 28th, 2010 6:40 pm ET

I am so devastated at the loss of Gary Coleman. I grew up with Diff Strokes. That was my favorite show on Thursday nights. I am about the same age as Gary so I could identify with him. I loved him and his friend Dudley. I feel as is a part of childhood is gone. Larry, could you please do a tribute show on GC and invite Todd Bridges, Conrad Bain, Charlotte Rae, Dudley( I think he is still an actor), maybe even include Janet Jackson. That would be a great show.

letta(IbeLIEve)   May 28th, 2010 7:43 pm ET

SORRY to hear about Gary coleman. He was a good actor in his time. Prayers go out to his family,

still me just a new name   May 28th, 2010 8:16 pm ET

Woke up to the news this morning that he was ill and I said a prayer...came back later and read that he had passed...thank you for the laughs... RIP

"Pixie Dust "   May 28th, 2010 8:40 pm ET

R.I.P Gary.

Sy   May 28th, 2010 8:46 pm ET

I"m very sorry to hear about his passing. My prayers goes out to his family. I prayed for him and I hope God heard. I pray Mr. Colman finally found peace with the Lord.


Cathy   May 28th, 2010 9:05 pm ET

I'm so sorry to hear about Gary. RIP young man.

Dodie R.   May 28th, 2010 9:15 pm ET

Gary Coleman's life was filled with many adversities. He often aspired in spite of them. Lets hope the media will allow his family to grieve in privacy! Rest in Peace!

jack   May 28th, 2010 9:45 pm ET

Rest in Peace Gary Coleman. I think a biography of Mr. Coleman's colorful and courageous life would be very interesting to read.

Jessie from Auckland, NZ   May 28th, 2010 9:58 pm ET

So sad to hear the news the Gary Coleman has died at the age of 42.

Have fond memories of him and he was an inspiration as he never let his disabilities get in the way of living.

Will always remember him as that cute little guy who entertained us and brought us joy.

I believe him and Michael Jackson had a very special friendship and that Michael adored him. I have the images of them where they are doing these dance moves and they were hilarious. There are a lot of other memorable images of them that will stay in my mind.

RIP Gary Coleman. Gone too soon. Will be sadly missed and never forgotten. Condolences to his family.

Christine   May 28th, 2010 10:36 pm ET

I; am a lost for words. I ; am so sad that ; his life here was cut short. I ;am going to miss him.My heart goes out to his family and all who loved him.I;do not care who liked him; Mr.Coleman; was apart of my family growing up ; we could not; wait for the ;show to come on.I;am going to; miss his bright eye's and his laughter. He will alway's be in my heart and he will be an ACTOR that will never be forgotten.42 years old is much to soon to leave all who loved him. Please give my CONDOLENCES to his family and his friends and All of his Many; many fans.P.S. Now there are Three that are with All the stars up above; Michael Jackson; Corey Haim ; and now Gary Coleman Gone Too; Too Soon. my Friends intill we meet again.

yochanan   May 28th, 2010 10:48 pm ET

A Light has gone out...
A great humanitarian. Perhaps the greatest ever.

John H   May 28th, 2010 11:09 pm ET

Tears! Reading through all the above comments I find myself even more devastated at this news. He was a fighter with a heart of gold and I can't help but feel badly that he had so many disadvantages to overcome. The tabloids should skip their next edition in shame over the way they treated him.

Anne D   May 28th, 2010 11:14 pm ET

Gary often smiled through his pain and suffering; he was burdened with more than his share. Gone too soon, Gary, Rest in Peace.

maggie   May 29th, 2010 7:28 am ET

A very brave young man, you were so cute and funny in Different Strokes. RIP Gary.

Jay b   May 29th, 2010 7:50 am ET

I think the press and the tabloids help push him to an early grave.

Floridian   May 29th, 2010 9:29 am ET

gone way too soon.....RIP Gary!

gerald Jolly   May 29th, 2010 9:51 pm ET

A sad way to end a tormented life.

May God bless you and keep you.

Let us hope that you will finally find happiness.

gerald Jolly   May 29th, 2010 9:53 pm ET

You know, both Gary Coleman died of a brain hemorage and Bret Michaels also claimed he had one also.

In my opinion God took the wrong one from us.

I guess Gary should have worn the cowboy hat with the cross on it.


RoboBrain   May 30th, 2010 1:04 am ET

Larry, Id like to hear how Conrad Bain is doing the father figure for "Different Strokes" is doing now days. The last I heard he had a odd heart or chest pain condition back in 2008. Is he still alive. Id like to hear how he is doing now days and what it was like to work width Gary Coleman. Also the parents of Gary Coleman an interview would be nice they now want answers to their sons death. It would be nice to do a show with both of them and Conrad. Also Shannon his wife.

Lori - Justice for Michael   May 31st, 2010 12:20 am ET

RIP Gary will be missed. My dad loved to watch you on TV. "What you talking about Willis?" was a catch phrase at our house.

maryln48   May 31st, 2010 1:01 am ET

Sorry that he was misunderstood, used and ripped off in this life. I hope he has gone to a better place.

Pren   June 1st, 2010 7:53 am ET

Incredibly sad. I only discovered diff strokes last year, as I am half of Gary's age. His life was marked by so many is just so sad. I really think that children should be banned from the entertainment industry, as the majority of child stars suffer later on in life.
RIP Gary....Xx

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