Gary Coleman, 42, Joins the Ancestors
This was a very unhappy man. We can only hope that he has finally found peace. From People:
Gary Coleman, who by age 11 had skyrocketed to become TV’s brightest star but as an adult could never quite land on solid footing, has died after suffering a brain hemorrhage. He was 42.
Coleman died at 12:05 p.m. at the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo, Utah, where he had been in a coma.
“Family members and close friends were at his side when life support was terminated,” says a hospital statement. “Family members express their appreciation and gratitude for the support and prayers that have been expressed for Gary and for them.”
The actor suffered an intracranial hemorrhage at his Utah home on Wednesday night. On Thursday, he was “conscious and lucid,” the statement says, “but by early afternoon that same day, Mr. Coleman was slipping in and out of consciousness and his condition worsened.”
Gary Coleman was also immortalized in the musical Avenue Q. I saw the musical while it was on tour in Madison (thank you, The Mic, 92.1), and while it is light-hearted rather than disparaging of the real Gary Coleman, I don’t think that Coleman should have threatened to sue the producer. It wasn’t exactly about him, but what happened to him. It wasn’t buffoonery either. They kept his name alive, and frankly, what do you do after you’ve been famous and rich? It made me think. As another black comedian put it in another film, there is always work at the post office. That is, there could be far worse things that you can do than demeaning roles. Unfortunately for Coleman, it sucked to be him.
Coleman is parodied in the hit 2003 Broadway musical Avenue Q, which won the 2004 Tony Award for best musical. A character presented as Coleman works as the superintendent of the apartment complex where the musical takes place. In the song, “It Sucks to be Me”, he laments his fate. On Broadway, the role was originally played by Natalie Venetia Belcon.
In 2005, Coleman announced his intention to sue the producers of Avenue Q for their depiction of him, although the lawsuit never materialized. At the 2007 New York Comic Con, Coleman said, “I wish there was a lawyer on Earth that would sue them for me.”