May 28, 2010

Good-bye Gary Coleman, Dead at Age 42

Gary Coleman Autographed Signed reprint PhotoI first saw Gary Coleman in some poorly produced commercials on a local network. His stardom rose quickly, and Diff'rent Strokes, the show that made him famous became his albatross. His shtick was a combination of cute, caring, and tough somehow all at once, with the now famous catch-phrase, "Whatchoo talkin' bout Willis?"

I can't say why I liked him. He was not the sophisticated comedian or witty line slinger, but an average guy whose confident personality paid off. I wish it had continued to do so, but, as with many child actors, life as an adult would not be so kind.

When Todd Bridges was arrested, and Dana Plato starred in porn movies and then committed suicide, the open-minded and wealthy home owned by Philip Drummond (played by Conrad Bain) showed it was merely a glass house with tabloid mud all over. Coleman had a hard time moving on from the show, largely due to typecasting and his short height (4'8").

He appeared in movies here and there, but his glory days were over. He became more famous for being famous through parodies, divorce, disorderly conduct, lawsuits and car accidents.

What would an 80 year-old Gary Coleman look like? Hard... to imagine. Sadly, now, impossible to imagine.

RIP Gary Coleman 42.

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