‘Diff’rent Strokes’ curse 

And then there were two: Of the main cast of the hit NBC sitcom Diff’rent Strokes, which ran from 1978-1986, only two actors remain–Todd Bridges (older brother Willis Jackson) and Conrad Bain (father Phillip Drummond). Sadly it has been reported that Gary Coleman has just died after suffering from an intercranial hemorrhage (the details of his death are still unclear). He was 42.

I actually wrote about Coleman on this site in 2003 when I gave the actor my official endorsement during his run for governor of California. (Somehow that endorsement had little effect.) But more recently I had mentioned him in my review of the Todd Bridges memoir (partly a how-to for crack-dealers), Killing Willis. I admit I got my cheap shots in there, including my reference to the Dana Plato erotic film Different Strokes. And yes, this latest turn of events gives “Different Strokes” yet another whole new meaning. (Sorry.) But the week the review was published, Plato’s son committed suicide. And now Coleman is dead. One reader called me the Angel of Death today.

I’m not overly superstitious but I do admit the timing is uncanny. In fact, this hasn’t happened to me since I profiled the cast of Poltergeist.

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Victorino Matus

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