Gary Coleman has died at the age of 42 after suffering a brain hemorrhage that left him in a coma and on life support, multiple news sources have confirmed. The ‘Diff’rent Strokes’ actor was taken to the hospital on Wednesday, and his conditions only worsened as the days went on.
RadarOnline was the first to break the news of Coleman’s death. According to TMZ, Coleman passed away at 12:05 PM Mountain Standard Time with his family by his side.
Coleman was taken to the hospital on May 26 after injuring his head during a fall, resulting in a brain hemorrhage. A spokesman for the actor said that he was “conscious and lucid” upon his arrival at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center, but later slipped into a coma.
“We are saddened to announce that since mid-afternoon, Mountain Time, on May 27, 2010, Mr. Coleman has been unconscious and on life support,” his rep John Alcantar said in a statement on Friday.
Coleman became a child actor sensation thanks to his role on ‘Diff’rent Strokes,’ where he made the words “What’choo talkin’ ’bout” a national catchphrase. With his role as Arnold Drummond — an adopted black child taken in by a rich white New York City man — Coleman rode the wave of success until the show’s end in 1986, setting him up for other movie and TV opportunities.
Throughout his life, Coleman battled various health issues. He received two kidney transplants — one in 1973 and one in 1984 — to help curb the kidney disease nephritis, which he has battled for decades. It’s that disease which is responsible for stunting his growth.
Speaking with PEOPLE in 1979 at the age of 11, Coleman said of his first transplant: “The reason I survived is that I had a kidney that wouldn’t give up … Now I got a Greek kidney donated from a kid who was hit by a car.”
Coleman’s health has been an issue of late, as the 42-year-old actor has suffered two seizures this year. The first occurred on January 6, while the second took place in late February while he was on the set of ‘The Insider.’ During the 911 call from the latter incident, an ‘Insider’ staffer who called it in told the operator, “We have someone having a seizure right now on our stage … we just need someone as soon as possible.”
Later in life, Coleman secretly married Shannon Price in 2007, who he met on the set of a movie.
“Nobody was around but the minister, preacher, the videographers, the photographer, the helicopter pilot and us. That was all that was there. There was nobody else.” Coleman told ‘Inside Edition’ about the secret wedding.
He went on to say that despite the fact that his new wife was 22 when they married (Coleman was 40 at the time), he had no “issues with age, I have issues with intelligence … She’s more intelligent than I am and that’s what matters to me.”
As their marriage continued, though, trouble began to settle in. Shortly after their big reveal, the two wound up in a very public spat on ‘Divorce Court,’ where they tried to work through their marital issues. On the show, Price claimed that “if he doesn’t get his way, he throws a temper tantrum like a five-year-old does.” Coleman retorted by saying “the male is always the bad guy … When I try to state my case or explain things to her or try to get her to understand my point of view.”
In the wake of the ‘Divorce Court’ drama, allegations of abuse on both sides soon began making headlines. Price was arrested in 2009 on domestic abuse charges after an incident in their home. In January of 2010, Coleman found himself in handcuffs on a separate domestic violence warrant after he failed to attend a court date.