'Diff'rent Strokes' Star Gary Coleman Dead at 42

Actor removed from life support after intracranial hemorrhage.

ByABC News
May 28, 2010, 6:33 AM

May 28, 2010— -- Gary Coleman, the former child actor and star of the 1980s TV sitcom "Diff'rent Strokes," has died after an intracranial hemorrhage suffered earlier this week left him unconscious and on life support at a Utah hospital. He was 42.

"Child actor Gary Coleman died at approximately 12:05 p.m. Mountain Standard Time at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center," hospital spokeswoman Janet Frank said in an e-mailed statement. "Family members and close friends were at his side when life support was terminated."

After reaching TV superstardom playing Arnold Jackson on "Diff'rent Strokes" in the late 1970s and early '80s, Coleman's life after the show included years of financial, legal and health troubles, including a congenital kidney condition, leading up to his death.

"It's unfortunate. It's a sad day," Todd Bridges, who played Arnold Jackson's older brother Willis on "Diff'rent Strokes," told the Associated Press. "It's sad that I'm the last kid alive from the show."

Bridges also has had numerous personal and legal problems since "Diff'rent Strokes" went off the air in 1986. And Dana Plato, who played Bridges and Coleman's white older sister on the show, committed suicide in 1999.

Coleman suffered the intracranial hemorrhage at his home in Utah Wednesday, possibly from a fall, though the exact circumstances have not been confirmed.

"He was immediately taken to a local hospital for treatment," Coleman's publicist, John Alcantar, said in an e-mail to ABC News.

Later Wednesday evening, according to Alcantar, Coleman was moved to another hospital for more tests and treatment. By midday Thursday, Coleman had regained consciousness and was lucid.

But his condition soon grew more dire.

"As of mid morning on May 27, Mr. Coleman was conscious and lucid, but by early afternoon that same day, Mr. Coleman was slipping in and out of consciousness and his condition worsened," the hospital statement said.

At a news conference in Salt Lake City after Coleman's death, Coleman's brother-in-law Shawn Price read a statement written by his sister, Coleman's wife, Shannon Price.

"We are very grateful for all the wonderful support everyone has been extending to Gary's family," the statement said. "Thousands of e-mails have poured in to the hospital. This has been so comforting to the family to know how beloved he still is."

Coleman's hemorrhage may have resulted from trauma to his head. Thursday, Coleman's brother-in-law told TMZ.com that the actor fell and suffered a head injury.