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The little black boy, who drove home anti-racist message, dies

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Parents want to know what happened

Arnold Jackson, Gary Coleman, racism, Diff’rent Strokes, entertainment

31st May 2010: The little boy, who had driven home the message of integration of different races through his lovable gestures in Diff’rent Strokes, is no more.

Gary Coleman, popularly known as Arnold Jackson after his role, was transported from his home to a surgical ICU. But he passed away on Friday night after suffering from a brain haemorrhage and slipped into a coma.

An American television sitcom, Diff’rent Strokes was aired on the NBC television network from November 3, 1978, to May 4, 1985, and on ABC from September 27, 1985, to March 7, 1986.

It was about complete integration and happy family life of a white father-daughter duo and two non-white adopted brothers.

With his death, Coleman’s parents want to know what happened to the actor before he passed away.

Sue and Willie Coleman, his estranged relatives, said they were pointing fingers at anyone, but wanted to know exactly what happened. They said they wanted to know if he fell down the stairs? Or he fell in the bathtub? They wanted to know exactly what happened.

This sitcom starred Gary Coleman as Arnold Jackson and Todd Bridges as his older brother, Willis. They played two black children from a poor Harlem neighborhood, whose deceased mother previously worked for a rich white widower, Philip Drummond (Conrad Bain), who eventually adopted them.

They lived in a penthouse with Mr. Drummond, his daughter Kimberly (Dana Plato), and their maid.

The 42-year-old actor, whose growth was stunted by a congenital kidney defect, had undergone two kidney transplants. He was admitted in critical condition, after sustaining a head injury during a fall.

It was Coleman’s third hospitalisation this year, after suffering seizures in January and February.

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