|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.