The reason anyone knows who Gary Coleman was is this classic TV sitcom. Gary Coleman's performance as Arnold, a young black orphan adopted by a rich white man, was classic American television.
Even more memorable was Arnold's oft repeated catch phrase, "What you talkin' 'bout Willis?" That quote has been repeated in every imaginable variation it swept the country by storm.
For the greatest "Whatchu talkin' 'bout?" moment go to the 45 second mark of the attached video.
Forced to Declare Bankruptcy and Sue His Parents
Gary Coleman reportedly made over $100,000 per episode of Different Strokes.
In 1993 Coleman sued his parents for raiding and squandering his fortune. His parents had stolen and lost over $3.8 million from Coleman's trust fund. Keyword there is trust, and Gary shouldn't have trusted his 'rents.
After winning a $1.3 million judgment, Coleman was still forced to file bankruptcy in 1999 due to the financial difficulty created by his parents and former managers.
The video is one of many Gary did for Cashcall.com, the irony in the dialogue kills me.
Runs for Governor of California
In 2004, during a special California recall election, Gary Coleman announced his candidacy for the office of Governor of the State.
While no one quite took it seriously, including Coleman himself, Gary did manage to impress several political circles with his grasp of the issues and intelligence.
After announcing that he was voting for Schwarzenegger, Coleman still managed to finish 8th in a field of 132 candidates. After the election Coleman briefly hosted his own political radio show.
That's right: California decided that Gary Coleman was the 8th best person in the state fit to run it. Why do we still wonder that CA is in a deficit?
Normal people deal with there marriage problems in normal ways. Not Gary Coleman. He had to do it big and he had to do it publicly. Always.
When considering divorce he took it to the one place he knew it would be seen by housewives and college students across the country: Divorce Court.
Coleman and his then wife went on the TV court show to air out their dirty laundry in hopes of reconciling. Not to adjudicate a divorce settlement, but to try and work it out.
Coleman must have confused Divorce Court with Dr. Phil at the time, but you've got to hand it to him for taking all of this to his fans (the public).
When Gary Coleman guest starred on an episode of VH1's The Surreal Life, he thought he was just going to have a fun night managing a Mel's Diner with celebrity employees. He didn't count on Vanilla Ice.
Obsessed with hearing Coleman Say "Whatchoo Talkin' 'Bout Willis?" Mr. Ice Ice Baby picked up Gary and dangled him over a frier until he said the catch phrase.
Mortified by the scene, Coleman stormed off the show. The video is of Vanilla Ice's meltdown over something Ron Jeremy says. The video of Gary and Vanilla at Mel's is hard to come by, as even VH1 views it as going a little far and doesn't air the episode regularly.
Gets Job as Security Guard
At a low point in his life Gary Coleman took a job as a security guard. I'm not sure how secure I would feel with Gary Coleman as my guard. The video is of Gary on the job in Venice. His primary assignments were guarding filming sets.
As you can see in the video, it's hard to feel empowered when the people you are trying to stop can't stop laughing at you.But fear not Pamela Anderson, Gary Coleman is prepared to throw his entire body on top of a car to protect you.
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