Child TV star Gary Coleman died Friday at age 42. Although he had suffered various medical problems throughout his life, it was a fall which killed him.
Coleman hit his head in a fall Wednesday at his home in Utah, resulting in an intracranial hemorrhage. Coleman had slipped into a coma after the injury. His wife, Shannon Price, decided Friday morning that her husband should be taken off of artificial life support. Utah Valley Regional Medical Center said he died shortly after noon.
Coleman was known as the chubby cheeked star of the sitcom “Diff’rent Strokes,” which aired from 1978 to 1985 on NBC. He played “Arnold Jackson,” one of two black children from a poor section of Harlem adopted by a wealthy white widower after the death of their mother, who had been the man’s maid.
As Arnold, Coleman became famous for delivering the catch phrase, “What’choo talkin’ ’bout, Willis?” in conversations with his TV brother.
The pint-sized actor, who never grew beyond 4’ 8” in height, appeared from time to time on other TV shows, but never achieved the success he had enjoyed as a child actor. He worked at other jobs along the way, such as security guard and promoting an Internet site.
Coleman also ran for Governor of California in the 2003 recall election. He finished 8th out of 135 candidates. Another actor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, was the winner.