According to reports, actor Gary Coleman was in critical condition after suffering a head injury in an accident. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. According to PopEater.com: "Gary Coleman has been hospitalized in Utah and is in critical condition after injuring his head as the result of a fall. ABC News is reporting that Coleman "has slipped into a coma" and is currently on life support. Coleman suffered an intracranial hemorrhage according to the ABC report, and remains unconscious from the injury."
Gary Coleman burst onto the pop culture scene in 1978 as the precocious star of the television sitcom Diff'rent Strokes. His great personality, charm, and comic timing earned him a strong fan following and led to a number of other roles and guest appearances. While he may not have reached the mega-stardom of other child celebrities in entertainment history, such as Shirley Temple, Mickey Rooney, or Macaulay Culkin, he certainly seemed to have it all for a brief moment in time at least.
The saddest thing about his recent challenges, both medical and legal, has been the transformation of that great smiling face to one of seeming bitterness and anger. I cannot blame his disillusionment with Hollywood and celebrity culture after everything he has been through, but I do wish people could remember the fantastic talent he displayed during his heyday, which occasionally still emerges during more recent appearances, and forget the caricatures of him as a washed-up actor suffering from the "Child Star Curse." The problems he faced in later years were often out of his control and I found it inspirational that he kept persevering despite all the hurdles that kept popping up in his way.
I hope his legacy is filled with the kind of happiness he sparked in so many viewers.