Friday, May 28, 2010

Rant #266: Goodbye Gary

I didn't think I would be posting this holiday weekend, but if you haven't heard the news, Gary Coleman died today. The injury he sustained left him in very bad shape, and when the doctors told his wife that there was almost no chance of recovery, she let him die peacefully.

I know that people will point to Gary Coleman and say that he was the prototypical child star: talented but brash, not undertanding the situation he was in, and ultimately, a miserable adult.

But Gary had other things to deal with. His kidney problems left him short of stature, and he always seemed to be fighting the system.

Also, I don't know where all his money went, but he was constantly shucking for money in jobs that were way beneath him.

I wish he would have taken my advice that I put up in a Rant some months ago, where I suggested that he move behind the camera. His invaluable experience--especially to the newest breed of child starts--could have been invaluable.

Instead, he was a constant presence in police stations and on "Entertainment Tonight," and I don't think he ever really got "it": that fame is fleeting. Few people can sustain it their whole lives, and he certainly couldn't.

Seeing him as an adult was a shock. This was one very bitter human being.

I prefer to remember him as he was: that adorable little kid on "Fernwood Tonight" who I could have sworn at the time was a midget; and as the young teenager and the star of "Diff'rent Strokes," where he took a pretty lame show and made it more than watchable.

And that is the problem. I prefer to remember him as a kid, but his kid phase passed years ago. This guy was 40, not 14.

R.I.P. Gary. I hope you are in a better place now and that you are finally at peace with yourself.

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