Sunday, October 14, 2007

Gary Coleman

Gary Coleman is a former child actor best known for his role as Arnold Jackson on the hit late 1970s - mid 1980s family sitcom, Diff'rent Strokes.

Coleman was born on February 8, 1968 in Zion, Illinois and was adopted by Willie and Sue Coleman. He suffers from a congenital kidney disease causing nephritis (an autoimmune destruction of the kidney). The disease stunted his growth at an early age, leading to his very small stature of only 4ft 8in in height. He has undergone two kidney transplants, one in 1973 and one in 1984, and requires daily dialysis.

Coleman became a major TV star when he was cast as Arnold Jackson on the sitcom Diff'rent Strokes in 1978. The Arnold Jackson character and his brother Willis Jackson (played by fellow washed-up celebrity Todd Bridges) were the children of the maid of Phillip Drummond (played by Conrad Bain), a wealthy Caucasian man who lived in the penthouse of a ritzy co-op building in New York City. When their mother died, Mr. Drummond adopted Arnold and Willis.

The entire premise of Diff'rent Strokes is extremely difficult to believe - a rich white man going into a Harlem neighborhood and adopting two young black kids would certainly raise some red flags in the real world, as many might think that the man was some kind of sick pervert who had ulterior motives for adopting the kids. However, Diff'rent Strokes was a huge hit for its nearly 10 seasons and was very popular among families with young children. His character's catchphrase, "what'chu talkin' 'bout, Willis?" became widely quoted among his fans.

Although Coleman was the biggest star of Diff'rent Strokes, he was not able to make the transition over to movies. He did act in a few crappy movies, such as The Kid From Left Field (1979), Scout's Honor (1980), The Kid With The Broken Halo (1982), and The Kid With The 200 I.Q. (1983), but none of them were very successful.

After Diff'rent Strokes went off the air in 1986, Coleman's career hit the skids. He was such a big star on Diff'rent Strokes that he was typecast. He has yet to secure any other decent acting roles other than self-parody roles on TV shows such as Married With Children and The Simpsons.

Although Coleman reportedly earned $18 million from his acting on Diff'rent Strokes, his entire fortune has been squandered, forcing him to declare bankruptcy in 1999. In an effort to raise money in the late 1990s he actually sold some afro picks and his size 4 1/2 bowling shoes. Coleman blames his parents and former manager for wasting his personal fortune. In 1993 he sued his parents for raiding his accounts and won a $1.3 million judgment against his parents.

Coleman also has anger management issues that flare up when he is harassed by rude fans. Coleman was charged with assault in 1998 after he punched Tracy Fields, an extremely rude woman who was bothering Coleman while he was at a mall shopping for a bulletproof vest for a security guard job. Coleman, who reportedly only weighed about 86 pounds, claimed to have been frightened by Fields, a 5-foot, six inch tall 205-lb woman. The obese Fields requested an autograph and was apparently upset when he gave her his mere signature, saying "Ain't you gonna put something nice on it?"

Coleman responded, "You really don't need that. You're just going to show it off to your friends. That's really my signature." Fields then reportedly told Coleman that his "badass attitude" was the reason that he has never been a success as an adult actor. Coleman was upset, said "You black people are all alike," and that he hated black people. Coleman also grabbed the autograph he had given to Fields and ripped it in half. Fields reportedly responded, "Well, you're just a little punk-ass bitch!"

Coleman and Fields were yelling at each and Coleman later reported that he was really scared because "Her breasts were practically hitting me in the head. I'm 4-foot, 8 inches, 86 pounds of nothing." Coleman subsequently punched Fields and left the store. Coleman later received a 90-day suspended sentence for striking Fields and was openly mocked by the media for his actions.

Coleman re-entered the public eye in 2003, when he ran in the California state gubernatorial recall election, finishing 8th with 14,242 votes.

In 2004 Coleman made a special guest appearance on the second season of The Surreal Life. In the episode in which he appeared, the washed-up celebrities from that season (including fellow washed-up celebrity Vanilla Ice) were supposed to work at a Mel's Diner in Hollywood. The producers brought in Coleman to be the manager of the Mel's Diner for that episode. Vanilla Ice really wanted Coleman to say his catchphrase "Whatchoo talkin' bout Willis?" and was insulted when Coleman refused to say it. So Vanilla Ice picked up Coleman and threatened to throw Coleman in a deep fryer unless he said that catchphrase. Coleman was very embarassed and shocked by Vanilla Ice's actions and stormed out of the restaurant saying that he hated Vanilla Ice.

Coleman also received some undesired attention on July 26, 2007, when he was cited for misdemeanor disorderly conduct by a Provo, Utah, police officer after he was seen having a "heated discussion" with a woman. Police were called after witnesses saw Coleman becoming upset and hitting the steering wheel of his vehicle during a heated discussion with an unidentified woman, according to reports.

For all of the reasons discussed above, Gary Coleman is one washed-up celebrity!

*** UPDATE - February 16, 2010 ***

Coleman was arrested in Utah in January 2010. Police were called to Coleman's house for domestic disturbance. Although the police did not find that a crime had been committed, he was arrested because of an outstanding warrant from 2009 for a prior incident of domestic disturbance. Here is Coleman's mugshot:

*** UPDATE - May 28, 2010 ***

Gary Coleman died today of a intercranial hemorrhage. Coleman suffered the hemorrhage on Wednesday, May 26, 2010 at his home in Santaquin, UT. He remained conscious and lucid until the afternoon on Thursday, when his condition suddenly worsened and he slipped into unconsciousness. Coleman was placed on life support on Thursday. Coleman died when the life support was terminated this afternoon.

Washed up or not, he was one of the most beloved former child stars I have profiled on this blog. He was also very talented and carried Diff'rent Strokes on his back to ratings glory in the early 1980s. Coleman will be missed.


Anonymous said...

Awwe he looks litke a little teddy bear with chimpmunk cheeks. Imagine having someone like him running the world. He would take no crap from anyone. "Whatya talkin bout Willis" I'll punch em in dah knee caps.

Anonymous said...

Did you know he admitted on Geraldo in '93 that he attempted suicide twice with sleeping pills? That's what it says on his IMDb profile. His fellow Diff'rent Strokes co-star Dana Plato should have a page, although she's dead.

Anonymous said...

Hey he ought to open up a deli and call it Gary's Colecuts.

Anonymous said...

Even though he's physically a dwarf due to his kidney nephritis, does anyone know if his cock is normal sized? He is a black man after all.

diamondcutter said...

I wonder if he ever thought about midget gay porn?

Anonymous said...

A weak entry. An obvious and easy target. And no mention of the fact that he very well may be a virgin. Maybe ten years ago, he was on Maury Povich or something and asked if he a girlfriend. He said "no". Then there was some suggestion about whether or not he ever had sex. He said something like "women need to be treated with respect". And there was something about oral sex...he thought it was something women shouldnt do...maybe it wasnt on a talk show at all. I dont have all the details. But its something the writer of this entry could have researched.

Movie Fan said...

^^^^ poster above, I disagree with you 100%. I am aware that Coleman has stated that he is a virgin and is against oral sex. Coleman has a very poor self-image due to his diminutive stature and has stated that he does not want to have any kids who would have to deal with the problems he has had to deal with. So he is intentionally a virgin. How exactly does that make him washed up? The little midget from Fantasy Island was shorter than Coleman and had sex with many women, so I am sure that Coleman probably could have done the same if he wanted to do so.

Movie Fan said...

In my opinion, a celebrity is washed-up when he (or she) completely lets himself go from a physical or even fashion standpoint. Washed up celebrities are often broke, complain about their falls from grace, and/or appear in horrible productions in a pathetic attempt to recapture their lost success.

Anonymous said...

Gary epitomizes the term "Washed Up".

JewveBeenFramed said...

Even though he's physically a dwarf due to his kidney nephritis, does anyone know if his cock is normal sized? He is a black man after all.

Many years ago when Gary was desperate for cash he got a job writing for where he was selling off his personal possessions and answering questions with fans. Nearly 90% of the questions were regarding the size of his cock which he claims is the the size of a normal males. He didn't say whether it was a white or black males but I would guess he meant a Japanese males. Regardless, I would stick it to Gary while he was dressed like a Munchkin. Sexy little bastard!

Anonymous said...

Maybe you could dress him as an Ooompa Loompa and sit on his face Jewve? Only if I get to watch and sing the Ooompa Loompa song though...

Anonymous said...

Are you going to do an entry on Dana Plato? I know she's dead, but she done so much crazy shit and WAS washed up.

You should listen to her Howard Stern interview online. She had the interview the day before she died.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone seen his Cash Call Loans commercials? He's laughing about how he was so broke and his family wouldn't even lend him money, but how the people at Cash Call Loans lent him the cash the very same day at an APR of 99.75% (Yes, nearly 100% APR!!!) - What a complete Uncle Tom

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Gary Coleman says he's secretly married:,,20177737,00.html

Anonymous said...

Hey Kurt, this is a good read, it would be good info if you wanted to add to this article.

Anonymous said...

Gary pulled a Todd Bridges - he just got arrested for domestic assault.

Anonymous said...

Gary kinda looks like a little turd with arms and legs. He'd be perfect to play Mr. Hankey the christmas poo in a live version of south park...HI DEE HOOOO!!!!!

Anonymous said...

When asked about the allegation of his abusive conduct, Coleman exploded into a tornado of "fuck offs" and told Lisa Bloom to "Go to Hell", "Drown Yourself in the Ocean", "Go fuck yourself", "Fuck all of you" and "If you get hit by a bus tonight, I don't care" before jumping off of his booster seat and storming back to the playroom.

Anonymous said...

I feel sorry for him. It must be hard going through life as a short guy in a world that judges people on their looks. And the guy from Fantasy Island the actor who played Tattoo commited suicide so his life was not all peachy either. If he had his millions at least his life would be a little easier and bearable. It must suck going from millions to having to work as a security guard.

Anonymous said...

Actor Gary Coleman is in critical condition in a Provo, Utah, hospital, a hospital spokeswoman said Thursday.

Janet Frank, the spokeswoman for Utah Valley Regional Medical Center, confirmed that Coleman, 42, was being treated there after being admitted on Wednesday.

Frank would not release any other information.

Calls to Coleman's publicist were not immediately returned.

Coleman is best known as the wisecracking youngster Arnold Drummond on TV's "Diff'rent Strokes" from the late 1970s to the mid-1980s.

The former child actor was hospitalized briefly three months ago after suffering a seizure while being interviewed on a TV show in Los Angeles, California.

Anonymous said...

Actor Gary Coleman is suffering intracranial brain bleeding and is on life support in the intensive care unit of a Provo, Utah hospital, Coleman's spokesman said.

Coleman, 42, fell ill at his Santaquin, Utah, home Wednesday evening and was rushed by ambulance to a hospital, the spokesman said in a statement released Friday.

He was then taken to another hospital -- Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo -- later Wednesday night, where he remains in critical condition, the spokesman said.

"Due to his condition, Mr. Coleman has not undergone any surgery at this time," the spokesman said.

The former child actor was "conscious and lucid" Thursday morning, but he "was slipping in and out of consciousness and his condition worsened," the spokesman said.

Coleman became unconscious and was placed on life support Thursday afternoon, the statement, which was released by the hospital, said.

Coleman is best known as the wisecracking youngster Arnold Drummond on TV's "Diff'rent Strokes" from the late 1970s to the mid-1980s.

"In recent years Gary Coleman has had difficulties, not only with health issues, but also with his personal and public life," his spokesman's statement said. "At times, it may not have been apparent, but he always has had fond memories of being an entertainer and appreciates his fans for all their support over the years. At this critical moment, we can only ask for your thoughts and prayers for Gary to make a speedy and full recovery."

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Notice how two of these people on your blogs died within 3 months?

Anonymous said...

Gary Coleman has sadly passed away on 5/28/10 at the age of 42 of a brain hemorrage. He will no longer have to suffer. He will never know how much joy and laughter he brought to the world in his short life. RIP :-(

Nards of Goat said...

What a sad day! My condolences to Gary's family and friends. Movie Fan did a great job on his update--truly a wonderful actor and person who caught a bad rap, although I can't help thinking that in his mugshot at the bottom he looks like an ape angered/saddened over the removal of a banana tree. RIP, Mr. Coleman!!

Anonymous said...

( -- Gary Coleman's panicked wife initially balked at helping him after he suffered an apparent head injury that left him bloodied, according her 911 call.

Shannon Price, 24, tells the operator that Coleman was stricken while preparing her something to eat the evening of May 26 downstairs in their Santaquin, Utah, home.

"He just got home, I heard this big bang, I went downstairs. Blood everywhere," she says. "I don't know if he's okay. I'm not down there right now because I have a fever, if I get stressed out I'm going to faint."

Price says, "He fell. His head is bloody. There's blood all over the floor. I don't know what happened." The operator asks, "Is there any way you can go down there at all?" Price replies, "I'll try, I don't know, I mean..."

When the operator asks if anyone else is there who can go downstairs, Price says, "No," and adds, "I've just been kind of sick. I don't want to be traumatized right now."

Price then is heard saying, "Gary, are you okay?" and telling him, "Stay where you are" and "Don't move, Gary."

The operator asks Price to tell Coleman to put pressure on his own wound. "Gary, you have to put pressure on your wound," Price is heard saying. "He's lethargic, I can't really help him. I just need help quick."

The operator says help is on the way. "I just can't be here with the blood," Price says. "I'm sorry, I can't do it. I can't. ... There's blood all over and I can't do anything."

Price then says, "I can't drive" because she's been sick with a fever. "I can't do anything right now."

The operator asks Price "to at least give him a towel" so Coleman can apply pressure to his wound. Price replies, "Yeah, I'm just panicked. I don't know what to do ... I just don't want him to die. I'm freaking out."

Next, she's heard telling Coleman, "You have to put this on your head ... Keep pressure on this, okay, hold this." She tells Coleman, "You need to sit down. Sit down! Gary, sit down!" Lawyer says Coleman divorced in 2008

She tells the operator just moments before emergency crews arrive: "I'm gagging, I got blood on myself, I can't deal."

Coleman, 42, was taken off life support two days later after doctors determined he'd suffered a brain hemorrhage and his condition worsened. An official cause of death is still pending an investigation. Police say there was nothing suspicious about his accident.

Funeral plans have not yet been finalized, although the Price family may hold services by week's end in Utah, according to Coleman's attorney Randy Kester.

Mr. Drummond said...

Creepy death bed photo with wife posing for picture!

Anonymous said...

Dana, Dixie, Gary and Mr. Horton (the bicycle man) are all up in heaven right now. They're waiting for crazy Bill to come so he can serenade Dana and play a space tape for Gary. Mr. Horton is catering up there right now with pizza, wine, Boston Cream pie, banana splits, gum and breath mints.

Anonymous said...

The reason Mr. Drummond adopted the kids was because their mother was their housekeeper.

Anonymous said...

have some fucking decency and take him off the site now he's dead, you fucking bitter shitlord

E G said...

All I have to say about Gary is that he had a shitty life! A few years ago, Gary did an interview with Opie and Anthony. I have to admit that it was a great interview. Gary really poured his heart out in this interview. You can find a snippet on Youtube.

Anonymous said...

I think working as a kid and making that much money only for your idiot mom and manager take away almost all of it would make anyone bitter. And Vanilla Ice is an idiot. He thinks picking up a dwarf makes him a macho man? Go f yourself, Vanilla.

Terry Mcgee said...

Gary was made an honorary Rolling 60s crip on October 5,2015. A mural of Gary can be seen on Crenshaw Blvd in South Central Los Angeles. R.I.P. Gary aka Angry Shorty.