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Friday, 28 May 2010

image for Diff'rent Strokes star Gary Coleman dies of stroke at 42: still 4'2" and bloody pissed about it
Diff'rent Strokes was an NBC mainstay from 1978 until the show's final episode in 1985.

Former Diff'rent Strokes television star and later California gubernatorial candidate Gary Coleman has died, height 4'2", of stroke following a violent altercation involving a carnival ride he was deemed too short to ride.

Mr Coleman was taken to hospital on Wednesday in the US state of Utah.

A Utah Valley Regional Medical Center spokeswoman said he had died at 1205MDT (1805 GMT).

Mr Coleman played Arnold Jackson in Diff'rent Strokes, coining the catchphrase "What you talking 'bout, Willis?"

"At times, it may not have been apparent, especially when he sued individual fans, but he always had fond memories of being an entertainer and appreciates his fans for all their support over the years - so long as they stayed the hell out of his flowerbeds," Mr Alcantar said.

The actor had a series of financial, legal and height-envy problems in recent years, but in the early 1980s Mr Coleman was one of television's most promising stars.

Mr Coleman's funny one-liners catapulted him to fame and helped make Diff'rent Strokes an NBC mainstay from 1978 until the show's final episode in 1985.

Following the show's cancellation, Mr Coleman experienced a range of ups and downs; mostly 'downs' due to his diminutive height.

He sued his parents over mismanagement, which won him a $1.3m (£900,000) settlement in 1993, lost it all in three years, then ran for governor of California and lost that, too.

He moved to Utah in 2005, for unfathomable reasons, and has since remained in relative seclusion.

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