09:14 AM EDT 07/10/2016
Originally posted 06/01/2010 07:10PM
By the time he was 4, Gary Coleman had developed a wit and precociousness that charmed his parents Sue and W.G. "Willie" Coleman. Tragically by his 20s, he was no longer speaking to them.
"Before he was in kindergarten, Gary had an imaginary friend, who he called Kumas," Sue, 67, tells PEOPLE. "If Gary did something bad, I'd say 'Gary, why'd you do that?' and he'd say 'I didn't do it mom, Kumas did it!'"
It was Gary's contagious personality that got him plucked from the Midwest and set down in Hollywood – a move his parents have never regretted, despite their son's longtime struggle with fame.
"He had a God-given talent," Sue explains. "Getting into show business was his decision. We always told him, 'It's up to you, Gary.' We never forced him to do anything. We protected him as best we could."
They saw their son's primetime success as a way to overcome the limitations of his ill health: The first of two kidney failures occurred when he was 5, and doctors warned early on that he may not have a long lifespan.
Originally posted 05/29/2010 05:20PM
In the last 10 years, the only way Sue and Willie Coleman kept up with their estranged son's life was through headlines: his marriage, his legal problems, and finally, his hospitalization and removal from life support on Friday.
"We would've loved to have been there by his side at the hospital, to let him know we love him before he passed away," Sue Coleman, 67, tells PEOPLE. "This is a shock to us. We loved Gary very much. We're going to miss him."
Janet Frank, a spokeswoman for Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo, would only say that an "accident" occurred in the actor's Santaquin, Utah, home on Wednesday evening, and that Coleman had suffered an intracranial hemorrhage.
Originally posted 05/28/2010 08:00PM
Jamie Kennedy says Gary Coleman was more than just a sitcom star: He inspired the comedian to get into showbiz – and also taught him to never take anything for granted.
Originally posted 05/28/2010 04:30PM
Stars saddened by Gary Coleman's death Friday are expressing their shock and grief on Twitter, while former colleagues share memories of the late actor.
Holly Robinson Peete: "Rest With Angels Gary Coleman xoxo. RIP No more pain"
Jamie Kennedy: "Wen [sic] I did BOWFINGER, Gary Coleman was the security guard. A pop icon and here he was a damn security guard. He was humble and sweet. Sad"
Blink-182's Mark Hoppus: "I hope that in heaven Gary Coleman finds the peace that eluded him on Earth, and finally discovers what Willis was talking about."
Serena Williams: "My heart goes out to Gary Coleman's FAMILY."
Eliza Dushku: "Bless & rest his soul."
John Stamos: "mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be actors. r.i.p. gary"
Lisa Ling: "Goodbye Arnold."
Originally posted 05/28/2010 11:50AM
Gary Coleman has suffered a brain hemorrhage and his condition has progressively worsened, his manager tells PEOPLE.
The 42-year-old Diff'rent Strokes star is now unconscious and on life support in a coma. His wife is at his side in the hospital.
"We appreciate everyone's thoughts and prayers for speedy recovery," says manager John Alcantar.
Originally posted 05/27/2010 06:55PM
Gary Coleman is facing his third medical emergency this year.
The Diff'rent Strokes star, 42, is currently listed in critical condition in a Provo, Utah, hospital.
"I can confirm Mr. Coleman is a patient here at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center," hospital spokeswoman Janet Frank tells PEOPLE. "He's listed in critical condition. He was admitted Wednesday. We are not confirming what department he's in or any further details."
Coleman's brother-in-law told TMZ.com that the actor suffered a head injury after a fall.
Originally posted 02/26/2010 02:40PM
Gary Coleman is being treated at a Los Angeles area hospital after suffering a seizure on the set of TV's The Insider on Friday, the show reports.
The actor "received immediate medical attention by Drew Pinsky, M.D. who was sitting next to him at the time," according to The Insider. "He was transferred in stable condition to a local hospital."
Last month, Coleman, 41, was briefly hospitalized in L.A. after he suffered what he called "seizure activity."
Coleman was born with failed kidneys and underwent two transplants before the age of 14. At one stage in his life, he underwent dialysis four times a day in order to survive. But it's unclear if his recent seizures are kidney-related.
Originally posted 01/06/2010 12:50PM
Gary Coleman had a medical emergency Wednesday in Los Angeles but it's not life threatening.
"Gary's fine. He wasn't feeling well, so he was taken to a hospital. They're going to run some tests," his agent Robert Malcolm tells PEOPLE.
Malcolm adds that the Diff'rent Strokes star, 41, was in L.A. doing promotional work when he fell ill. – Ken Lee
Originally posted 10/14/2008 01:10PM
Gary Coleman pleaded not guilty Tuesday to reckless driving and disorderly conduct.
Coleman was more than an hour late to the hearing in a court in Payson, Utah, just south of Salt Lake City. His attorney, Randy Kester, says the tardiness was due to a misunderstanding.
Coleman faces a maximum of six months in jail if convicted of the misdemeanor reckless driving count, and a fine if found guilty of disorderly conduct.
Originally posted 09/18/2008 03:50PM
Gary Coleman, who's facing a misdemeanor charge of reckless driving, was "stalked" by the man struck by the actor's truck outside a bowling alley, Coleman's lawyer said Thursday.
"The charges against Mr. Coleman are absolutely ridiculous," attorney Randy Kester tells PEOPLE. "Mr. Coleman is absolutely confident that he did nothing wrong."
Coleman, 40, was backing out of the Payson, Utah, bowling alley around midnight on Sept. 6 when his truck struck Colt Rushton, 24, as well as a car. Rushton was taken to a local hospital and treated for minor injuries.
Witnesses said Coleman became irritated after Rushton photographed him. The two argued in the bowling alley and then moved outside, police said.
"This man brought it on himself," Kester says. "(Mr. Coleman) was simply trying to leave the bowling alley and this man stalked him."
The most buzzed about stars this minute!
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
More On PEOPLE.com
Got a News Tip?
Send it to our People.com editors!