Main | Friday, May 28, 2010

Gary Coleman Dead At 42

Troubled former child star Gary Coleman, best known as the smart-mouthed Arnold on the hit '80s sitcom Diff'rent Strokes, has died at the age of 42 after a fall at his Utah home.
Coleman's pudgy cheeks and flawless comic timing made him the break-out star of the popular series, which ran from 1978-86. His signature line, "Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, Willis?" became a national catchphrase. But Coleman's bright beginnings were overshadowed by domestic disputes, legal troubles and health issues. Coleman was born with a congenital kidney disease that resulted in his small stature. He had two kidney transplants and required frequent dialysis. At the height of Diff'rent Strokes' popularity, Coleman reportedly received up to $100,000 an episode. Beginning in 1980, he won four consecutive People's Choice Awards as Favorite Young TV Performer. He parlayed his prime-time success into steady work in TV guest spots, made-for-TV movies and feature films, including On the Right Track and The Kid with the Broken Halo. The latter inspired the animated TV series The Gary Coleman Show. But in the years after Diff'rent Strokes, Coleman was in the headlines more often for his off-screen troubles than for his acting.
Coleman had been arrested several times in recent years for physical altercations with fans and his ex-wife.

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