death of Mr. Gary Coleman. Although he only had one soap appearance (he played a hit-and-run victim in Dr. Miles Cavanaugh's clinic on THE EDGE OF NIGHT), his role as Arnold Drummond on NBC's DIFF'RENT STROKES touched an entire generation and gave young people like myself a role model of an "outsider" who managed to live and love successfully. Seeing Arnold struggle and manage to fit into a world unfamiliar to him was similar to the plights of many daytime characters. We rooted for him, cried with him, and celebrated in his triumphs.
Throughout his adult life, Mr. Coleman was plagued with medical problems, relationship difficulties, and public outbursts, all which were documented ruthlessly by several media outlets. Yet Mr. Coleman managed to rise above negative publicity, and even condoned a satire/tribute of his persona in Broadway's "Avenue Q." His humor, resiliency, and battle with inner struggles will continue to inspire millions across the world, and future generations to come.
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