The outstanding depiction of Arnold Jackson in the American comedy “Diff’rent Strokes,” which aired on NBC from 1978 to 1985, made Gary Coleman a famous American actor and comedian. He began his acting career as a child actor, won the hearts of the American public, and over time rose to become a well-known household celebrity in the 1980s. He had also been highlighted at the top of the list of the most promising television stars of that era. His sparkling black eyes enchanted everyone, and he had a cheerful, laid-back disposition. Even though he had stunted growth and certain physical defects, he never failed to exude enough confidence. Despite his rapid rise to prominence at a young age, he handled it brilliantly and gave his career his undivided attention. He was fundamentally a people person who had the unique ability to mingle with others easily and promote a lot of productive engagement. The pudgy-lipped, chubby child was known as “NBC’s Littlest Big Man” and was a master at making people laugh! He proudly accepted his differences, and his humorous exchanges quickly became some of America’s most well-known catchphrases. He had a brief career and passed away quite early, yet he was able to garner a lot of admiration for his astute acting abilities and brave demeanor.
Early Childhood & Life
On February 8, 1968, Gary Wayne Coleman was born in Zion, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. When he was a little child, Edmonia Sue, a nurse practitioner, and W.G. Coleman, a fork-lit operator, adopted him.
He had a severe case of focal segmental glomerulosclerosis since he was a young child, which is brought on by a nephrotic syndrome in kids and typically results in kidney failure as an adult. Gary was severely affected by this difficult case of an autoimmune kidney illness, and he needed to exhibit extraordinary courage to deal with it.
Due to his severe disease and constant use of potent medications (such corticosteroids), his growth was stunted, and as an adult, he could only reach a height of 4 feet, 8 inches. His physical problems also showed up as a perpetually juvenile, childlike visage that made him feel self-conscious about his appearance as he matured.
The two unsuccessful kidney transplants he underwent in 1973 and 1984 were evidence that he had a very tough childhood. He was left with no choice but to choose daily dialysis in order to survive after the repeated failures.
Career of Gary Coleman
At the age of five, Gary Coleman started modeling and made an appearance in Hallmark and McDonald’s commercials. He appeared in a Harris Bank television commercial in 1974. The same year, he also made an appearance in an episode of the television program “Medical Center.”
By pure luck, he was discovered by a group of talent scouts working under Norman Lear, and he was cast as a comedy actor in some of Lear’s well-known sitcoms, including “The Jeffersons” and “Good Times.”
At the astonishingly young age of 10, the NBC offered Coleman his own sitcom after quickly recognizing his unique comic abilities. There is no need to introduce the iconic television program “Diff’rent Strokes,” which gave him an enormous fan base! The show’s primary goal was to preach on the sensitive subject of racial tolerance in the country.
The young actor gained a lot of fans across America because to his portrayal of Arnold Jackson in “Diff’rent Strokes,” which received rave reviews. The popular program aired from 1978 through 1986.
However, Gary Coleman’s career began to wane in the late 1980s, and both his personal and professional lives were rife with problematic problems. As an adult, he continued to suffer financially and was unable to make the leap to acting stardom.
Bigger Works of Gary Coleman
The Kid From Left Field (1979), Scout’s Honor (1980), The Kid With The Broken Halo (1982), The Kid With The 200 I.Q. (1983), The Fantastic World of D.C. Collins (1984), and Playing With Fire (1985) are just a few of the lighthearted TV-movies Gary Coleman worked on as a young actor. Additionally, he made appearances in the movies Jimmy The Kid (1982) and On the Right Track (1981).
With the special animated series “The Gary Coleman Show,” created in 1982 under the renowned banner of Hanna-Barbera, the young actor catapulted to even greater fame.
Personal Legacy & Life
Gary Coleman admitted in an interview that he had twice overdosed on tablets in an effort to end his life because he had trouble managing his chronic depression.
He presented a Sunday night show in Denver, Colorado, where he performed light jazz and new age music. He generously gave the Colorado Kidney Foundation a portion of his pay.
He had the guts to file a lawsuit against his adoptive parents and his former business advisor in 1989 over the theft of his trust fund. He ultimately prevailed in the case in 1993 and was awarded $1.28 million in damages.
He was accused of assault during his time as an actor in “Diff’rent Strokes” in 1998. Facts show that he punched Tracy Fields, a fan, multiple times in the face after she made fun of him for earlier declining to sign an autograph.
Coleman filed for bankruptcy in 1999 and said that many people, including his adoptive parents, his attorneys, his agents, and last but not least, himself, were to blame for his financial situation.
On the sets of the movie “Church Ball,” he fell in love with Shannon Price, whom he later married. Due to their irreconcilable issues in their marriage, they later divorced in 2008.
He was sent to court in 2007 after engaging in “disorderly conduct” during an argument with his wife in front of the entire public.
He apparently underwent heart surgery in 2009, and regrettably, the procedure led to a deadly pneumonia infection.
He was brought to the hospital on May 26, 2010, after falling down several stairs and sustaining a head injury (epidural hematoma). He passed away on May 28 at the age of 42 not long after the incident.
Estimated net worth
The estimated net worth of Gary Coleman is about $1 million.
Gary Coleman was included on VH1’s list of the “100 Greatest Child Stars” as a result of his rising stardom as a young actor.
What’chu talkin’ about, Willis? became a major rage, and he became identified with his renowned character Arnold Jackson from the TV series “Diff’rent Strokes”!
He was an avid model railroader and a huge enthusiast of trains. He was a staunch advocate of Amtrak, a passenger rail service. At the tender age of five, he discovered this interest while living in Chicago.