Gary Coleman died today. I always felt sorry for the poor little schmuck. First he had kidney disease, which stunted his growth and required daily dialysis. Then he was a star of a popular sitcom, "Different Strokes," and had to sue his parents to keep them from spending all of his earnings.
After "Different Strokes" the acting jobs were few and far between, and Gary became a former child star, a category of humanity with its own special psychic torment. One goes from television renown to cheap marketing gigs in small towns and podunks, for small pay. One of his post-fame jobs was as a security guard. A former child actor is famous, not for who he is, but for who he used to be. He or she is a has-been, with his best days behind him. That's got to be hard to take.
I wish Gary's life could have been more successful and happier than it was. Unfortunately, the cynical saying "life's a bitch and then you die" seems to sum it up for Gary.
Gary Coleman was 42 years old. RIP, little buddy.