Former child TV star Gary Coleman has died at the age of 42. He was admitted to hospital with a brain haemorrhage caused by a fall.
The actor, best known for playing Arnold Jackson on Diff’rent Strokes in the 1980s, was admitted to Utah’s Provo hospital on Wednesday.
His family said his condition worsened on Thursday and that he slipped into unconsciousness.
Gary Coleman had lived in Utah since 2005, when he starred in the movie Church Ball, a comedy based on basketball leagues formed by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
He met his wife, Shannon Price, on the film set and married her in 2007.
Gary Coleman’s other TV roles included a stint in the popular sci-fi series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century starring Gil Gerard and guest roles on the likes of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Married With Children.
His death marks another sad chapter with regard to the Diff’rent Strokes cast. His co-star Todd Bridges (Willis Jackson) was abused as a child by a friend of his family; his career was stunted by frequent drug incidents.
Dana Plato, who played Kimberly Drummond, committed suicide via a pill overdose in 1999. On a related note, her son Tyler Lambert fatally shot himself in May 2010.
After Diff’rent Strokes was cancelled in 1986, Gary Coleman’s acting career never again reached the heights he’d once enjoyed. However, he was rarely out of the public eye thanks to a very colourful private life that included suing his parents over misappropriation of his trust fund, running for governor of California and various run-ins with the law.
He’ll be remembered as a very fine child star – one of a kind.
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