“3rd PROVO, Utah – Gary Coleman, the child star of the smash 1970s TV sitcom “Diff’rent Strokes” whose later career was marred by medical and legal problems, died Friday after suffering a brain hemorrhage. He was 42.
Utah Valley Regional Medical Center spokeswoman Janet Frank said life support was terminated and Coleman died at 12:05 p.m. MDT.
Coleman, with his sparkling eyes and perfect comic timing, became a star after “Diff’rent Strokes” debuted in 1978. He played younger brother Arnold Jackson a pair of African-American siblings adopted by a wealthy white man.
His popularity faded when the show ended after six seasons on NBC and two on ABC.
Coleman suffered continuing ill health from the kidney disease that stunted his growth and had a host of legal problems in recent years.
Coleman suffered the brain hemorrhage Wednesday at his Santaquin home, 55 miles south of Salt Lake City.
A statement from the family said he was conscious and lucid until midday Thursday, when his condition worsened and he slipped into unconsciousness. Coleman was then placed on life support.
Diff’rent Strokes” debuted on NBC in 1978 drew most of its laughs from the tiny, 10-year-old Coleman. .”
By JENNIFER DOBNER, Associated Press Writer – Read more here.
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