has died at 42, RadarOnline.com
is first to report.
Coleman had been hospitalized in Provo, Utah since Wednesday, May 26, after suffering what his [COLOR=blue ! important][COLOR=blue ! important]family[/COLOR][/COLOR]
called "a serious medical problem."
PHOTOS: Gary Coleman Through The Years
As RadarOnline.com previously reported, Coleman had slipped into a coma and was on life support after suffering an intracranial hemorrhage.
He was pulled of life support Friday morning and later passed away. His wife Shannon Price and her father were at the hospital Friday.
The Illinois native's death marks the end of a long, sad road for the diminutive Diff'rent Strokes
star, who struggled professionally and financially as his fame and fortune diminished since the show went off the air in 1986.
PHOTOS: Troubled Child Stars
Coleman’s growth was hampered at a young age by a congenital [COLOR=blue ! important][COLOR=blue ! important]kidney [COLOR=blue ! important]disease[/COLOR][/COLOR][/COLOR]
caused by focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, as he never grew beyond 4 feet, 8 inches tall. Twice having undergone kidney transplants in 1973 and 1984, Coleman required daily dialysis in his everyday life.
Coleman got his break in acting when caught the eye of TV icon Norman Lear
, which eventually paved the way for him to star in Diff'rent Strokes
as Arnold Jackson, a wisecracking runt adopted with his brother Willis (Todd Bridges
) by a rich New York businessman (Conrad Bain
). Coleman's considerable charisma -- buoyed by his catchphrase "What'cu Talkin Bout Willis" -- made the show a ratings winner in its' first three years, as the young actor was earning as much as $70,000 an [COLOR=blue ! important][COLOR=blue ! important]episode[/COLOR][/COLOR]
at its’ peak.
EXCLUSIVE: Mystery Fan Revealed: Utah Businessman Posted Bail For Gary Coleman
Coleman would wind up suing his [COLOR=blue ! important][COLOR=blue ! important]parents[/COLOR][/COLOR]
in 1989 over missing money from his trust fund, and was awarded more than $1 million in 1993, but the money would not last, as he would wind up declaring bankruptcy six years later.
Coleman said in an appearance on Geraldo Rivera
in 1993 that he had twice tried to overdose on sleeping pills.
Gary Coleman Hospitalized
Coleman got some publicity in later years when he threw his name in the hat of the circus that was California's 2003 recall election, receiving more votes than other show biz candidates such as porn star Mary Carey
, en route to an eighth overall finish to eventual winner Arnold Schwarzenegger
PHOTOS: Classic TV - Good Times
Coleman's death marks another sad chapter for the Diff'rent Strokes
cast, as Bridges' career was stunted by frequent drug incidents, while Dana Plato
, who played Kimberly Drummond on the show, committed suicide via pill overdose in 1999. On a related note, Plato's son, Tyler Lambert
, fatally shot himself in May 2010, nearly eleven years to the day of his mother's suicide.