Gary Coleman Dies at Age 42

Celebrity News May. 28, 2010 AT 2:49PM
Gary Coleman Dies at Age 42 Credit: WENN.com

Gary Coleman, best known for his role as Arnold Jackson on the hit 80s sitcom Diff'rent Strokes, died Friday. He was 42.

He passed away at approximately 12:05 p.m. at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center.

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"We are very sad to have to report Mr. Gary Coleman has passed away as of 12:05 P.M. Mountain Time. He was removed from life support; soon thereafter, he passed quickly and peacefully. By Gary's bedside were his wife and other close family members," his rep, John Alcantar, tells UsMagazine.com in a statement.
 
"Thanks to everyone for their well wishing and support during this tragic time. Now that Gary has passed, we know he will be missed because of all the love and support shown in the past couple of days. Gary is now at peace and his memory will be kept in the hearts of those who were entertained by him throughout the years," Alcantar added.

On Wednesday, Coleman -- who was born with a congenital kidney disease that caused him to only grow to only 4-foot-8 -- suffered an intracranial hemorrhage after he hurt his head following a fall in his Utah home.

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As of mid-morning Thursday, he was conscious and lucid, but by early afternoon he was slipping in and out of consciousness and his condition worsened.

On Friday, his manager confirmed that Coleman was in a coma and on life support.

Family members and close friends -- including his wife Shannon Price -- were at his side when life support was terminated.

"Family members express their appreciation and gratitude for the support and prayers that have been expressed for Gary and for them," a hospital rep said in a statement.

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On Thursday, Price’s father Dale told UsMagazine.com: "He is in critical condition, I can confirm he fell. Shannon has been by his bedside and she will be visiting him again. Janet, the spokeswoman for the hospital, will be releasing all statements. We are hanging in there. I don't want to say anything else."

The actor moved to Utah in 2005 to star in comedy Church Ball, about basketball leagues comprised of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There, he met Price, 22, and married her in 2007.

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Coleman had heart surgery last fall complicated by pneumonia, his Utah-based lawyer, Randy Kester, told the AP.

In February, Coleman suffered a seizure while taping The Insider. That same month, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor criminal mischief related to an April 2009 domestic violence incident at his home.

The actor faced a number of legal and financial problems, despite earning a reported $100,000 per episode during his 8-year run on Diff'rent Strokes. (On the show, he famously coined the phrase "What'choo talkin' 'bout, Willis?")

In a statement, his family acknowledged his problems, saying he had "difficulties not only with health issues, but also with his personal and public life."

"At times it may not have been apparent, but he always had fond memories of being an entertainer and appreciates his fans for all their support over the years," they added.

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