Gary Coleman Dead at Age of 42
By PopEater Staff Posted May 28th 2010 02:34PM
Gary Coleman has died after suffering a intracranial hemorrhage that left him in a coma and on life support. The 'Diff'rent Strokes' actor was taken to the hospital on Wednesday, and his condition deteriorated as the days went on. After being on life support for at least a day, his family made the decision to remove him from the machinery that was keeping him alive. He was 42 years old.
Remembering Gary Coleman
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RadarOnline was the first to break the news of Coleman's death. According to TMZ, Coleman passed away at 12:05 PM Mountain Standard Time with his family by his side.
Coleman was taken to the hospital on May 26 after injuring his head during a fall, resulting in a brain hemorrhage. A spokesman for the actor said that he was "conscious and lucid" upon his arrival at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo, Utah, but later slipped into a coma.
His manager, John Alcantar, told PEOPLE that Coleman "was removed from life support; soon thereafter, he passed quickly and peacefully ... By Gary's bedside were his wife and other close family members."
Coleman's brother-in-law, Shawn Price, read the following statement from Coleman's wife, Shannon Price, at a press conference on Friday, "We are very grateful for all of the wonderful support everyone has extended to Gary's family. Thousands of emails have poured into the hospital. This has been so comforting to the family to know how beloved he still is."
Shawn Price also said more information about Coleman's death and funeral arrangements would be released soon.
Coleman became a child acting sensation thanks to his role on 'Diff'rent Strokes,' where he made the words "What'choo talkin' 'bout" a national catchphrase. With his role as Arnold Jackson -- an adopted black child taken in by a rich white New York City man -- Coleman rode the wave of success until the show's end in 1986, setting him up for other movie and TV opportunities.
Throughout his life, Coleman battled various health issues. He received two kidney transplants -- one in 1973 and one in 1984 --- to help curb the kidney disease nephritis, which he had battled for decades. The disease was responsible for stunting his growth.
Speaking with PEOPLE in 1979 at the age of 11, Coleman said of his first transplant: "The reason I survived is that I had a kidney that wouldn't give up ... Now, I got a Greek kidney donated from a kid who was hit by a car."
Coleman's health had been an issue of late, as the 42-year-old actor suffered two seizures this year. The first occurred on January 6, while the second took place in late February while he was on the set of 'The Insider.' During the 911 call from the latter incident, an 'Insider' staffer told the operator, "We have someone having a seizure right now on our stage ... we just need someone as soon as possible."
In 2007, Coleman secretly married Shannon Price, who he met on the set of a movie.
"Nobody was around but the minister, preacher, the videographers, the photographer, the helicopter pilot and us. That was all that was there. There was nobody else." Coleman told 'Inside Edition' about the secret wedding.
He went on to say that despite the fact that his new wife was 22 when they married (Coleman was 40 at the time), he had no "issues with age, I have issues with intelligence ... She's more intelligent than I am and that's what matters to me."
As their marriage continued, though, trouble began to settle in. Shortly after their big reveal, the two wound up in a very public spat on 'Divorce Court,' where they tried to work through their marital issues. On the show, Price claimed, "If he doesn't get his way, he throws a temper tantrum like a five-year-old does." Coleman retorted by saying, "The male is always the bad guy ... When I try to state my case or explain things to her or try to get her to understand my point of view."
In the wake of the 'Divorce Court' drama, allegations of abuse on both sides began making headlines. Price was arrested in 2009 on domestic abuse charges after an incident in their home. In January of 2010, Coleman found himself in handcuffs on a separate domestic violence warrant after he failed to attend a court date.
Last year, Coleman told The Huffington Post that his love for his wife was unlike anything he had ever experienced.
"I know the difference between true love and the love of my fans. It's just not the same. I've been married over a year now, and you can't beat true love. You can't. It's got its own energy, its own vibration, its own felling. It has its own power."
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