Gary Coleman was three years older than me.
However, Arnold Jackson, his character on the hit series Diff'rent Strokes, was seven months younger than me.
So, in a weird way, he was the first TV character I remember think was contemporary to me.
I think the weird pre-tragedy of his life was already clear. His parents, Willie and Edmonia Coleman, were already clearly parasites.
I suspect Gary Coleman played some role in making the idea of becoming a child star less appealing to me. The years since have only made that impression since.
When it was reported that he was in critical condition yesterday, all I could think was, "I hope that poor son of a bitch gets to end his misery."
I guess I wasn't alone.
Now the media will weep crocodile tears over his corpse, after spending his lifetime showing him the worst kind of contempt and actively mocking his misfortunes.
Yeah, sometimes life really shoves in and twists it, doesn't it, Gary?
UPDATE: Adding Gary As I Knew Him by Richard Rushfield, "Even in death, as we can see on twitter today, the joke of being Gary Coleman is what the world sees first.
"Rest in Peace, Gary. And hope that you’re now in a place where the road is for you and you alone to choose."