I’m not quite a child of the ‘80’s as one would usually be, seeing as I wasn’t raised during much of the decade and never watched the show originally, but as being a classic TV buff and as someone who enjoyed Diff’rent Strokes reruns as an older kid, I am in mourning of the loss of the series’ star, Gary Coleman. He passed away Friday at the age of 42.
As much as I do prefer the spinoff The Facts of Life over Diff’rent Strokes these days, Gary’s role in the show was one of the bigger things that really lead to helping me enjoy the show and the era of the show that I ultimately do like the best today. Which was seasons 3-6.
I also enjoyed some of his other guest appearances as well, including shows such as The Simpsons and The Parkers.
I do realize that considering the problems he had in association with his most famous work, including with his parents and typecasting, I know he would rather be remembered for something else. And Gary unfortunately had a drama filled life after Strokes ended and it’s heartbreaking to see it end in such a manner. But in reality I think it’s best to remember him as the member of the show that lead him to stardom, because he did bring a significant number of fun onto our television screens and has entertained multiple generations of people. And that in itself is a pretty big accomplishment.