The role of young Arnold Jackson, which Gary Coleman played on the television show Different Strokes, brought Gary Coleman the most fame.
Because of his performance in the part, he went on to become one of the child performers who earned the most money in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Additionally, he was the recipient of many honors. The line “Whatchu talkin’ bout, Willis?” that he used frequently on the show is still quite well known.
Coleman also provided his voice for the animated series “The Gary Coleman Show” and “Waynehead,” and he had appearances in movies such as “Jimmy the Kid,” “Dirty Work,” and “An American Carol.”
Compensation for Different Strokes
During his most successful run on the show, Gary Coleman averaged a salary of $100,000 each episode. At the time, this made him the television actor who earned the most money anywhere in the world. About $2.5 million each and every season.
After taking into account the effects of inflation, that is equivalent to almost $6.5 million. It was said that he barely had one fourth of what he made after paying his parents, lawyers, and advisors, as well as his taxes.
Struggles in Both Finance and the Law
During his career, Coleman constantly struggled with financial troubles as a result of recurring medical bills as well as the fact that his parents and business advisers frequently plundered his money.
These issues were a hardship for Coleman. In 1989, he filed a lawsuit against his adoptive parents and his previous advisors, and he ultimately succeeded in securing a settlement worth 1.28 million dollars. Coleman worked part-time at railroad hobby stores in California, Arizona, and Colorado so that he could support himself through the difficult time in his professional life.
Coleman was working as a security guard in Los Angeles in the year 1998 when he was accused of beating a bus driver in the city who had asked for his autograph.
Coleman was arrested after he allegedly struck the woman multiple times in the face over the course of an argument that followed.
He was given a sentence with a prison term suspended in exchange for paying the woman’s medical bills and attending anger management sessions. The next year, Coleman submitted his petition for protection under the bankruptcy laws.
Coleman’s later years were marked by an increase in the number of occasions on which he found himself in legal problems. He was ticketed for incidents of disorderly behavior, reckless driving, and domestic abuse.
Early years of life and the start of a career
Gary Coleman was born in the year 1968 in the town of Zion, Illinois. He was raised as an adopted son by his adoptive parents, Edmonia Sue, who worked as a nurse practitioner, and W. G. Coleman, who operated forklifts.
Because he was born with a congenital kidney ailment, he would never grow taller than 4 feet and 8 inches, and his face would always have the appearance of a younger person, even when he was an adult. In an effort to alleviate the symptoms of this condition, he had three kidney transplants in the years 1973, 1974, and 1984; however, none of them were successful.
Coleman’s first paid gig was in a commercial for Harris Bank, which he did in 1974, marking the beginning of his professional career.
During the same year, he had a role in an episode of the drama series “Medical Center,” which is broadcast on CBS. After some time had passed, he made guest appearances on episodes of the sitcoms “The Jeffersons” and “Good Times” on CBS.
Coleman appeared in the pilot episode of the revived version of “The Little Rascals” in the year 1977. Despite the fact that the series was not picked up, an executive noticed Coleman, and as a result, he was placed in what would become his most renowned role: Arnold Jackson on “Different Strokes.”
Jackson was one of two African-American brothers from Harlem who were adopted by a wealthy white Manhattan widower, who was portrayed in the film by Conrad Bain. The other brother, who was also adopted, was portrayed by Todd Bridges.
The show was such a huge success that it was broadcast on NBC and subsequently on ABC for a total of eight seasons. Coleman became well-known for his catchphrase “Whatchu talkin’ ’bout, Willis?,” which he would utter in a suspicious manner to his character’s brother over the course of the episode.
Coleman is said to have earned an average of $100,000 for each episode of “Different Strokes” while the show was at the height of its popularity.
He was honored with a multitude of awards, some of which include five nominations for the Young Artist Award and two victories, as well as four consecutive People’s Choice Awards for Favorite Young TV Performer, which he won between the years 1980 and 1983.
Career in Film and Television During the Decades of the 1970s and 1980s
Coleman, who had become a well-known character as a result of the popularity of “Different Strokes,” started making appearances in a variety of other television shows and movies. In 1979, he acted in the made-for-television movie “The Kid from Left Field” and made a guest appearance on the science fiction program “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.” Both of these projects were broadcast on television.
The following year, he appeared in the television film “Scout’s Honor,” and in 1981, he made his debut in the feature film “On the Right Track,” starring as a young shoeshine boy who becomes famous for successfully gambling on horses. In this film, he played the role of a shoeshine boy who becomes famous for successfully gambling on horses.
This was then followed by “The Kid with the Broken Halo,” “Jimmy the Kid,” and three television films titled “The Kid with the 200 I.Q.,” “The Fantastic World of D.C. Collins,” and “Playing with Fire,” respectively. In the meanwhile, in 1982, Coleman provided the lead voice for the animated program “The Gary Coleman Show,” which aired for a total of thirteen episodes on Saturday mornings.
Career in Acting Later On
Throughout the 1990s, Coleman had guest appearances on a variety of television programs, including “Married… with Children,” “Martin,” and “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”
In 1996, he appeared on the Saturday morning cartoon “Waynehead,” which was the brainchild of actor Damon Wayans and was broadcast on Cartoon Network. Both the comedy films “S.F.W.” and “Dirty Work” had cameo appearances from the actor in which he played himself.
Throughout the 2000s, Coleman maintained his role as himself on a wide variety of television programs. A number of television shows, such as “The Hughleys,” “My Wife and Kids,” “Baby Bob,” “The Parkers,” “The Surreal Life,” “Drake & Josh,” and “Nitro Circus,” featured his acting.
The comedies “Church Ball” and “An American Carol” featured Coleman in some of his final roles. His last film performance was in the independent movie “Midgets vs. Mascots,” which was released in 2009.
Coleman first made the acquaintance of Shannon Price in 2007, when they were both working as extras on the set of “Church Ball.”
They didn’t get married for a number of months. Following their appearance on an episode of “Divorce Court” in 2008, the couple ultimately decided to dissolve their marriage and divorce for reasons that largely revolved around Price’s physically violent and adulterous behavior.
Colman underwent heart surgery in 2009, the same year he was diagnosed with pneumonia. After sliding down the stairs in his home the next year, he experienced two seizures and was sent to the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo, Utah for treatment after both of these incidents.
His health continued to deteriorate, and he was placed on life support as a result. He was in a critical state. Coleman went away in the month of May in 2010, when he was 42 years old.
When the American actor Gary Coleman passed away in 2010, he left behind a net worth of $75,000 dollars, which he had accumulated prior to his passing.