Diff’rent Strokes star Gary Coleman, and his young wife had been helping each other cope with illness in recent weeks, RadarOnline.com has learned.
Sadly, Coleman passed away Friday after suffering a fall on Wednesday at the home he shared with Shannon Price in Santaquin City, 55 miles outside Salt Lake City in Utah. That fall cause an intracranial hemorrhage and Gary slipped into a coma.
RadarOnline.com was first to report his death and we’ve also learned that after a very rocky marriage Gary and wife Shannon had reconciled.
In fact, Shannon and her father were at Gary’s side when the star passed away at 12:05 MT.
A family friend told RadarOnline.com: “It’s so sad because Gary and Shannon had really been trying to help one another in recent weeks.
“He had long-standing health problems and she had not been feeling too well either but despite all of their difficulties in the past Shannon and her family were always very supportive of Gary.
“After his fall they were all gravely concerned about his health.”
Coleman’s manager released this statement: “We are very sad to have to report Mr. Gary Coleman has passed away as of 12:05PM Mountain Time. He was removed from life support; soon thereafter, he passed quickly and peacefully. By Gary’s bedside were his wife and other close family members.
‘Thanks to everyone for their well wishing and support during this tragic time. Now that Gary has passed, we know he will be missed because of all the love and support shown in the past couple of days. Gary is now at peace and his memory will be kept in the hearts of those who were entertained by him throughout the years.’
Steven Swan, a neighbor, told RadarOnline.com that couple kept to themselves and built a fence around their home to safeguard their privacy.
Swan said: “We had seen the police called to the house before and had heard them arguing in the past but it was pretty quiet in recent times until the ambulance was called earlier this week.
“Gary liked to remain private – neither he or his wife made any attempt to be friendly towards the neighbors.
“They just wanted to be left alone.”
The actor was best known for his stint on TV’s Diff’rent Strokes which aired from 1978 to 1986, where he played the loveable character Arnold alongside Todd Bridges and Dana Plato.
Charlotte Rae, who played Mrs. Garrett in the popular TV show told RadarOnline.com ”I was with him the first year of Diff’rent Strokes and he was the reason we were such a big hit. He was the centerpiece and we all surrounded him He was absolutely enchanting, adorable, funny and filled with joy which he spread around to millions of people all over the world”
The tiny 4ft 8 inch tall star suffered a seizure on the set of The Insider.
Coleman had lived in Utah since 2005, when he starred in the movie Church Ball a comedy based on Mormon church basketball leagues. He met his wife during filming and the two later married in 2007.
He had had a string of financial and legal problems, in addition to continuing ill health from the kidney disease he suffered as a child.
The diminutive former star had at least two kidney transplants and had ongoing dialysis. Coleman reportedly had heart surgery last fall and suffered from post-operative pneumonia.
In February, Coleman pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor criminal mischief charge related to an April 2009 domestic violence incident.