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Gary Coleman, Diff’rent Strokes & The Month of May


Gary Coleman, Diff’rent Strokes & The Month of May

The month of May was very prominent in the life  and career of  Gary Coleman and others tied to him professionally.

Born Gary Wayne Coleman on February 8, 1968,   best known for his childhood role as Arnold Jackson in the sitcom Diff’rent Strokes  which ran on television from 1978–1986. Coleman passed away on May 28, 2010 at the age of  42.  Various media outlets reported that:

“Gary Coleman, the child star of the smash 1970s TV sitcom “Diff’rent Strokes” whose later career was marred by medical and legal problems, has died after suffering an intercranial hemorrhage.”

Utah Valley Regional Medical Center spokeswoman Janet Frank said life support was terminated and Coleman died at 12:05 p.m. MDT.

Coleman who is listed as 4 feet and 8 inches, suffered from a congenital kidney ailment which halted his growth.

The date of Gary Coleman’s passing occurred on the  birthdate of the actress Zelda Rubinstein, who was also known for her diminutive stature as well as being part of a franchise where several of its actors died prematurely.

Zelda Rubinstein who also passed away this year,  lived  from May 28, 1933 January 27, 2010. Rubinstein, like Coleman did not grow beyond 5 feet tall. Zelda Rubenstein, who stood at 4 feet and 3 inches had a deficiency of the anterior pituitary gland which is responsible for producing the growth hormone needed to be taller.

Diff’rent Strokes  aired on the NBC television network from November 3, 1978 to May 4, 1985, and on ABC from September 27, 1985 to March 7, 1986.

Avenue Q,  a musical  that ran on Broadway features  character named Gary Coleman. Most of the characters of Avenue Q are puppets operated by actors onstage. According to Wikipedia:

” Avenue Q was initially developed at the 2002 National Music Theatre Conference at the Eugene O’Neill   in Waterford, Connecticut . The musical opened Off Broadway  at the Vineyard Theatre on March 20, 2003 and closed on May 4, 2003.”  The Gary Coleman character sings argues with two other characters about whose life is worst, singing the song “It sucks to be me”.

Todd  Bridges,  who played Gary Coleman’s  brother”Willis Jackson”  on the show Diff’rent Strokes  is born on  May 27, 1965!

Bridges upon learning that Coleman died remarked: “It’s sad that I’m the last kid alive from the show”.

Dana Plato  who played the role of “Kimberly Drummond” in the sitcom Diff’rent Strokes  “had longstanding personal problems and committed suicide” on May 8, 1999 by overdosing on prescription medication.  Plato’s son Tyler Lambert committed suicide on May 6, 2010.

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