Gary Coleman dies after brain hemorrhage

Fri May 28, 2010 11:24pm EDT
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By Bob Tourtellotte

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Former child star Gary Coleman, who shot to fame on TV sitcom "Diff'rent Strokes" but suffered personal troubles as an adult, died in a Utah hospital on Friday, after suffering a brain hemorrhage. He was 42.

Coleman gained stardom as the sharp-talking Arnold Jackson, adopted son of a wealthy New Yorker, in the hit sitcom that aired on U.S. television from 1978 to 1986 and in syndication around the world. His line "What you talkin' 'bout Willis?," addressed to his brother on the series, became a pop culture catchphrase.

But when the show was taken off the air, Coleman saw his Hollywood star fade, and he found himself suffering through financial, legal and domestic problems.

"We are very sad to have to report Mr. Gary Coleman has passed away as of 12:05 p.m. Mountain Time," (6:05 gmt), his manager, John Alcantar, said in a statement.

Alcantar said Coleman was removed from life support, and "he passed quickly and peacefully" surrounded by his wife and other close family members.

The diminutive Coleman, who suffered from a congenital kidney disease that halted his growth, was hospitalized Wednesday night after suffering an intracranial hemorrhage at his home in Santaquin, Utah. Media reports said he had fallen and hit his head.

On Thursday, he was conscious and lucid in the morning, but in the afternoon his condition worsened. He slipped into unconsciousness and was placed on life support at the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center.

"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 said.   Continued...

<p>Actor Gary Coleman arrives at the 6th Annual TV Land Awards in Santa Monica, California in this June 8, 2008 file photo. REUTERS/Chris Pizzello</p>