Gary Wayne Coleman (February 8, 1968 – May 28, 2010) was an American actor, best known for his role as Arnold Jackson in the American sitcom Diff’rent Strokes (1978–1986).
Coleman was born in Zion, Illinois. He was adopted by Edmonia Sue, a nurse practitioner, and W.G. Coleman, a fork-lift operator. He suffered from a congenital kidney disease caused by focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (an autoimmune destruction and alteration of the kidney), which halted his growth at an early age, leading to a small stature (4 ft 8 in; 1.42 m). He underwent two kidney transplants, one in 1973 and one in 1984, and required daily dialysis.
Coleman was cast in the role of Arnold Jackson on Diff’rent Strokes, portraying a child adopted by a wealthy widower. The show was broadcast from 1978 to 1986, and was a huge success.
Coleman became the most popular fixture of the show, enhanced by his character’s catchphrase "What’choo talkin’ ’bout, Willis?" At the height of his fame on Diff’rent Strokes, he earned as much as $100,000 per episode.
Death of Gary Coleman
On May 26, 2010, Coleman was admitted to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo, Utah, after falling and hitting his head and suffering an intracranial hemorrhage at his home outside of Salt Lake City, UT. He was announced to be in critical condition. By mid-morning on May 27, 2010, Coleman was conscious and lucid. By mid-afternoon on May 27, 2010, Coleman was unconscious and on life support. On May 28, 2010, it was announced that he was still unconscious and on life support. Coleman died in the afternoon of the same day.
Gary Coleman on Diff’rent Strokes