As someone who grew up loving "Diff'rent Strokes" (yeah, I admit it) and also took guilty pleasure in the vaguely sad antics of the more recent, post-ironic Gary Coleman, his death today of a brain hemorrhage at age 42 came as more of a shock than I would have guessed. Coleman obviously was never a picture of good health, but still...

His apparently unhappy life was written about in the recent autobiography of his troubled, but still living, "Diff'rent Strokes" co-star, Todd Bridges, which was the subject of an unexpectedly interesting essay/review by Victorino Matus in the Weekly Standard. It's currently behind the Standard's pay wall. But maybe in light of Coleman's death they'll make it public (UPDATE: it's now public). In the meantime, Matus adds this on his blog.

In memoriam, the requisite "What you talkin' 'bout, Willis" YouTube medley:

Rest in peace, li'l buddy. If anyone feels moved to post favorite Coleman links in comments, please go for it. If I come across the footage of Coleman as pint-sized security guard, one of my favorites, I'll update it.