Guest Author - Vance R. Rowe
It was on this day in history, May 28, 2010, that we lost another 80's child star. Gary Coleman passed away at the age of 42 due to complications from a head injury he received when he had fallen in his home. The death was due to a brain hemorrhage, actually it was called an intercranial hemorrhage.
Gary Coleman achieved worldwide fame as the wise cracking Arnold Jackson on the television series Diff'rent Strokes alongside Todd Bridges, Dana Plato, and Conrad Bain. The show aired from 1978 to 1986 and at the height of the show, Coleman was said to be getting one hundred thousand dollars per episode.
Gary Coleman had a famously small stature due to a kidney disease and the corticosteroids that he was taking to combat the disease. Coleman also received two kidney transplants and was on a daily dialysis regimen. His famous catchphrase of whatchu talkin' bout, Willis is listed in the top one hundred catchphrases of all time. Coleman was also listed as “one of the promising young superstars” in the early 80's and parlayed his Diff'rent Strokes fame into movies and television shows.
He appeared on the VH1 reality show the Surreal Life and his divorce from his wife was played out nationally on the television show, Divorce Court in 2008 and his own animated television show The Gary Coleman Show. He also appeared in John Cena's music video, Bad, Bad Man in where he had captured the 80's counterculture and John Cena played the A-Team's Hannibal Smith as the leader of the Chain Gang and tried to stop Coleman in the video.
Gary Coleman also had financial setbacks and successfully sued his parents and advisers in 1989 and received a judgment of 1.3 million dollars. In 1999, he filed for bankruptcy and blamed his financial troubles, again, on bad financial advisers.
Gary Coleman had many run-ins with the law in his adult life and one of the most famous legal battles was against a woman whom he had assaulted after she pestered him for an autograph. He received a suspended jail sentence and was ordered to take anger management classes.
Gary Coleman may have left us but his comedic legacy will live on forever.