R.I.P.: Actor Gary Coleman, 42, dies from brain hemorage

On Wednesday evening, “Diff’rent Strokes” star Gary Coleman fell at his Utah home and was rushed to the hospital. According to the CNN report from two hours ago, he is suffering from a brain hemmorage and is on life support.

Already, Wikipedia is saying that he’s dead, but I believe I’m going to wait a few hours before we report any further.

Our best thoughts are going out to his family and friends right now.

Update: It is with a heavy heart that we type these words to inform you that according to the NY Times blog, USA Today, and The Washington Post, among the other Internet articles posted about this, that Gary Coleman has passed away today, at the age of 42.

An entire generation of geeks grew up with Coleman when he starred in the sitcom “Diff’rent Strokes” as a Harlem youth being raised along with his brother by an rich widower from 1978 to 1986. Other than his signature catchphrase (“Whatchoo talkin’ ’bout, Willis?”) one other thing that Coleman was known for was his short stature, caused by a congenital kidney defect.

After the show’s ended, Coleman found it difficult to get further work in Hollywood and in 1999, he sued his parents over the mismanagement of his trust fun and won. He never really regained the kind of public adoration he had as a child actor, though guest appearances in several TV shows and an unsuccessful run for the governorship of California kept him in the public eye.

Even further exposure was gained when book-writer Jeff Whitty and composers, Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx made Coleman a character in their hit Broadway play Avenue Q, depicting him as a “former child actor” who’s now the superintendent of a run-down building somewhere in Manhattan. (Incidentally, the show’s reaction to his death can be read here.)

Coleman is survived by his wife.