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Gary Coleman's Death

Gary Coleman

He was a child star on television and never grew much taller. Unfortunately, the financial assets he amassed during his childhood stardom melted away, leaving him struggling financially later in life. It reached the unenviable point where he successfully sued his adoptive parents and his business advisor over misappropriation of assets, only to formally go bankrupt a decade later.

Gary Coleman was born outside Chicago, the adopted son of a nurse practitioner and a forklift operator. He suffered an autoimmune kidney disease and combined, with the drugs to combat it, stunted his growth, and limiting his height to 4'7".

But Gary did have one remarkable run. He'll forever be remembered as Arnold Jackson in the sitcom "Diff'rent Strokes".

After his breakout success in "Diff'rent Strokes", Gary acted in several feature films and made-for-TV movies, including "On the Right Track" and "The Kid with the Broken Halo".

He even briefly ran for governor in the 2003 California gubernatorial recall election…

Gary Coleman wanted to run for Governor

…but when the eventual winner, fellow actor Arnold Schwarzenegger joined the race - Gary said he'd vote for him.

Gary married Shannon Price in early 2007.

Gary Coleman with wife, Shannon Price

They'd met on the set of the movie "Church Ball." And though they divorced the following year, they continued living together until he died.

Gary's autoimmune disease was compounded by at least two kidney transplants and he needed daily dialysis. In 2009 he had heart surgery. And in May 2010 he fell down a flight of stairs in his Utah home and suffered an epidural hematoma.

He died of those injuries at the age of 42. Although there was some controversy…

Gary Coleman on cover of Globe magazine after his death

…the medical examiner ruled it an accident.

Gary Coleman was cremated, as he wished.