As square white dads go, Conrad Bain was one of the best. While he had roles in everything from Dark Shadows to The Love Boat to Maude, his most famous part was that of Phillip Drummond, a millionaire widower who adopts African-American brothers Arnold and Willis after their mother passes away on Diff’rent Strokes. Bain himself passed away Monday night at a retirement home in Livermore, California. No further details about the actor’s death have been given. He was 89.
Starring opposite Gary Coleman and Todd Bridges for eight seasons of the wildly successful sitcom, Bain was America’s favorite uncool old dad from 1978 to 1986. “He was an amazing person. He was a lot like Mr. Drummond, but much more interesting in real life. He was an amazing father,” his daughter Jennifer told TMZ. Nice, nerdy and constantly wearing a cozy sweater, Bain always knew what Willis was talking about.
While most of the chatter about last night’s BET Awards has been focused around Chris Brown’s emotional breakdown during his performance of “Man In The Mirror,” it’s worth noting that there was also a lot of action on the red carpet before last night’s festivities, too. In particular, VH1 News’ own Janell Snowden — follow her on Twitter! — was able to get a few moments with Todd Bridges, former Diff’rent Strokes star and longtime confidant of the late Gary Coleman. Bridges was there, of course, to honor the memory of his old friend, which he accomplished when he got the whole crowd to shout “Whatchu talkin’ about, Willis?” But on the red carpet, Bridges appeared to be a bit angrier at the chain of events that led to Coleman’s unexpected passing. He had stern words for both Coleman’s parents and his ex-wife, Shannon Price, telling Janell that “something’s fishy” and that he hopes that “God looks into [his death] and the police look into it.”
Gary Coleman‘s death certificate has been released following an autopsy, with the late actor’s death officially ruled “accidental” following a “fall.” While this is good news for Coleman’s ex-wife Shannon Price (pictured right), considering the attention she received for cutting off his life support, it doesn’t get her any closer to the Diff’rent Strokes star’s estate—something she clearly wants control of (Coleman is erroneously listed as “married” on the death certificate—Price’s doing?). Though ex-manager Dion Mial, named in a 1999 will, has backed out of a legal battle with Price, Coleman’s former girlfriend Anna Gray (pictured left) has come forward as the executor of a 2005 will. Though Coleman allegedly left Gray for Price, the latter’s divorce from the actor likely means she has less of a claim on the estate—and Gray is filing a restraining order to keep Price from taking more of Coleman’s stuff than she already has.
“[Price] is invading Gary’s home and disposing of his property,” said Anna Gray’s lawyer. “Nothing is left in the home beyond Gary’s bed and his clothing. She has taken all his personal papers, evidence and other belongings. That is completely disrespectful and a further indication of what her objectives are.” Though police have reportedly convinced Price to return most of the material, a judge is set to weigh on in the matter later today, hopefully deciding which woman has the right to Coleman’s affairs.
Gary Coleman died tragically last week. There’s been some controversy in the wake. His ex-wife Shannon Price was by his side in the hospital, and she was the one authorized doctors to take him off life support. The problem is that Price and Coleman secretly divorced close to two years ago in August 2008, therefore making the fact that she made that all-important decision to pull the plug on Coleman questionable.
Randy Kester, Coleman’s lawyer, said, “I was the attorney for the divorce proceedings. Out of a respect for Gary’s privacy, up until it became public, I didn’t want to say anything.” He added, “Their relationship has been on-again, off-again. I know that there were periods of time where she resided in the home with Gary, and there were periods of time where she didn’t.”
This revelation also raises disputes with regards to Coleman’s estate. His estranged parents Sue and Willie Coleman might “file a probate action which will ask the court to make a determination as to who [Gary's] heirs are,” Kester adds.
Complicated much? “No one’s come forward with what appears to be a valid will. No one’s come forward with anything that would indicate that his parents would not end up being his heirs” Kester reveals.
According to the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center, Price had the right to make the decision and they released a statement saying Gary had signed an “Advanced Health Care Directive that granted Shannon Price permission to make medical decisions on his behalf if he was unable to do so.” Hospital officials say that the document stands regardless of marital status, unless the patient changes it.
[Photo: Getty Images]
Gary Coleman is in critical condition at the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center with what his family has said is a “serious medical problem.” The hospital’s spokeswoman Janet Frank said that the former child star, now 42 years old, was admitted to the Provo facility but she couldn’t release any other details.
Coleman’s attorney, Randy Kester, said he had communicated by text message with Coleman’s wife, Shannon Price. The family did not want to release any additional details at this time, he stated, “Anything they could say would be premature because they don’t know the full extent of his condition right now.”
Price and her father were the ones who released the news and a statement following his hospitalization. It asks for prayers, adding, “we hope those prayers are answered and that Gary will be able to recover and return home soon.”
Coleman has had ongoing bad health due to a kidney disease he had as a child. He’s had at least two kidney transplants and has ongoing dialysis. Last fall, Coleman had heart surgery that was complicated by pneumonia, and in February, suffered a seizure on the set of The Insider.
Well, if this isn’t just the saddest thing. An interview with Gary Coleman aired on The Insider last night, in which the former child star threw a tantrum and bolted the set after lawyer Lisa Bloom grilled him on his recent spousal abuse arrest (he pleaded guilty earlier this month). “You can go f— yourself! You can go f— yourself!” he shouted after Bloom’s repeated demands that he acknowledge his wife’s charges. “I don’t know you, I don’t care about you and your life doesn’t matter to me! So if you drown tonight or get hit by a bus tonight, I’m not gonna care because she’s pushing my buttons and I don’t like her now and the next thing I’m going to do is…leave! So f— all of you!”
If that wasn’t awkward enough, the hosts brought author/psychologist Charlie Sophy to give his reaction. While admitting Bloom was “provoking” Coleman (who had already said there was “no abuse” in his house), Sophy noted “he was explosive, he tries to hold it together and he blows. You’re lucky he didn’t hit somebody here…really!” Uh…really? The 4’7″ actor was going to start handing out beatdowns on air? “What I saw there needs medicine,” he continued, dismissing commentator Niecy Nash‘s suggestion of therapy. Unfortunately, the long-awaited referendum allowing TV psychologists to force medication on miserable has-beens has yet to be passed into law.
After being picked up by police in Santaquin, Utah on Sunday for an outstanding domestic violence warrant and for failing to appear in court, Coleman was jailed overnight and is still being held. Coleman isn’t looking crazy so much as he’s channeling his old character Arnold Drummond from Diff’rent Strokes here, it’s like he’s giving the photographer the old “Whatchu talkin’ ’bout, Willis?” with his eyes. Coleman is being held on $1725 bail, which makes us wonder where Mr. Drummond is when you really need him. [Photo: Splash News Online]
Gary Coleman‘s life is not getting any easier. The Diff’rent Strokes star has been in and out of the hospital following a series of seizures (“It looks like my brain’s being rattled inside my head for some reason”), a situation undoubtedly compounded by the stress of an accidental nude scene set for release in a documentary called Midgets Vs. Mascots.
According to producers, Coleman’s robe flew open as he tried to break up a locker room scuffle between some little people (the footage leading up to his alleged flash is on YouTube if you really feel like searching “Gary Coleman nude”). Even though Coleman flew to LA to ask them to cut it, the proud filmmakers claim his contract allows them to keep his member in their cinematic vision.
Coleman, seeing things differently, says he plans to sue. “I wanted all my fans and all your fans to protest my penis being in the movie, because I didn’t want that,” he told E! News. It’s a body double, I believe, because I certainly was not gonna do this. And I heard that the body double is ugly, and is unattractive, and does not make me look good.” Like this story makes anyone look good.
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