Friday, May 28, 2010

Remembering Gary Coleman | Diff'rent Strokes Star Dead

Gary Wayne Coleman (February 8, 1968 – May 28, 2010)

Friday, May 28, 2010 we Gen X kids said goodbye to yet another 1980s icon. Gary Coleman was taken off life support after suffering an intracranial hemorrhage. He was only 42-years-old.

It has been such a sad year for us '80s fans ...  We bid an unexpected farewell to John Hughes, Michael Jackson, Andrew "Boner" Koenig, Corey Haim and now Gary Coleman.  I want to say that my heart goes out to his family, but from the many news reports I've heard over the years, his parents were so awful to him, leaving him virtually penniless.

I remember hearing interviews with fellow cast members saying Gary always put up a great front as a child actor. As you know, Gary suffered from kidney disease that stunted his growth. Despite medications and dialysis treatments, he always worked his butt off.

My husband and I have such a love for Diff'rent Strokes. It's hard to believe the show debuted the day before my 6th birthday back in 1978. I watched faithfully every week. I knew the words to the theme song. Then again, who didn't?

My love for the Diff'rent Strokes TV show continued into adulthood. At one point we DVRed nearly every Diff'rent Strokes episode off BET. We loved the fashions. We loved the '80s references. We loved that the show covered such controversial topics for those days. Many episodes focused on serious topics like drugs, date rape, racism, bullies, kidnapping, sexual assault and child molestation.

Good-bye Gary, you will be missed.

Three Trivia Tidbits about Diff'rent Strokes



1. The theme song was written by Alan Thicke and his wife at the time Gloria Loring--some articles say Alan Thicke even sang the theme song.
2. The Gooch was this jerky bully whom though often mentioned, we never did get to see. 
3. The title of the show was originally 45 Minutes From Harlem.


 



29 comments:

The Empress said...

Oh, I didn't know that.

Did he ever get to do a memoir?

MiMi said...

This is SO sad. :(

Natalie A. said...

I heard on our local news that he was in the hospital here, but I thought he'd recover. It's such a shock!

Ms. Anthropy said...

Peace, Gary.

Bossy Betty said...

I always enjoyed watching him on "Different Strokes.'

Melanie's Randomness said...

Ohh poor guy. R.I.P. He was so funny & made so many people laugh. I'll always remember this guy! What you talking about Willis.

Hagler Happenings said...

Diff'rent Strokes was one of my favs. Do you know why there is the ' in the title? I've always wondered.

Copyboy said...

Man that Alan had his hands in everything in the 80s. So sad about Gary. I too was a big DS fan, I still even watched it in the later seasons with that little ginger kid Sam.

Riot Kitty said...

That was a really sad story. I read an interview with him several years ago where he said he thought children's roles should be played by little people, rather than have children be actors. It obviously took a toll on him.

aLmYbNeNr said...

It is so sad. I just heard about it on the news this evening. He had such a rough life. :(

Cheeseboy said...

It was so strange... he moved here to Utah of all places. What is even more strange is he lived in Provo, Utah, which is perhaps the whitest city in America. Salt Lake City is much more diverse, but he chose Provo. Then, there were 2-3 times when he was in the news here for domestic disputes with his wife. The entire thing was so strange... and now this. Sad.

Ashley King said...

You've got such a kind heart. Sad news. It's nice that you always have so much information on so many things. I did hear that he passed but you shared quite a bit of new info. Thank you my dear!

MoonDoggie said...

I heard it here first - RIP Gary Coleman.

Now, the world don't move...

Maggi said...

I loved this show too. What a loss! What the heck is up with this year? All of these people gone AND they remake the freakin' Karate Kid? Nooooooooooooo!

Chrissy said...

To Cheeseboy: Do u remember seeing those interviews where he was so angry? and mean? I think he was a very unhappy man.. Unhappy because of his size...unhappy due to his medical issues, as well as money issues... He definitely had a chemical imbalance and mental issue...Nothing he did in his latter years made sense.. and for him to be a security guard? wth? he doesn't even make the height requirement...now that's the biggest and saddest joke.. whoever hired him made him a mockery...

sara said...

Passed an award on to you this morning. Come by and check it out!

Crazy Brunette said...

OH SHIT!

He died????

Holy fuck!

RawknRobynsGoneBlogWild said...

I wanted to have him as my own when he was on that show. He was so darn adorable.
His life was hell, and I wonder if his wife had anything to do with his death. He was very violent towards him and sent him to the hospital before. Todd Bridges is the one former child actor from that show who didn't die tragically. It is terribly sad.
Thanks for the post.
xoRobyn

Christiejolu said...

Yeah I just read about this and Dennis Hopper...RIP to both...

Natalie said...

RIP. he was amazing

Tracie said...

I had forgotten about The Gooch.

I thought of you when I heard he had passed. Is that weird?

pika23 said...

Yeah I believe Alan Thicke DID sing the theme. He also wrote Facts Of life

ScoMan said...

I never saw Diff'rent Strokes, but everyone knows who Gary Coleman was.

He'll be missed by everyone.

John McElveen said...

Came over via Patrick Tillett and boy am I glad I did! I will follow follow follow!!!

Love everything I've read so far!

John

Sadako said...

RIP, Gary. Whatchoo talkin' bout indeed.

ASBLACKASOBAMA said...

The saddest thing about Gary Coleman's death, is that most people are going to remember him as the older Gary Coleman that was a tabloid fixture....

Did you see him on the panel on EXTRA, where he walked out of the interview? It was one of the best things I've ever seen! He just said, I don't have to take your sh@t.... And then he walked out of the interview.... It was the best thing ever.... He basically said, 'Look, I'm a human being, stop treating me like trash!'

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtIwZ4UI1Y0

Powdered Toast Man said...

There is a celebrity epidemic going around. No one is talking about Art Linkletter dying. Now Dennis Hopper.

It's so sad.

Marlene said...

So sad.

Ian said...

Have you ever met him?

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