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Mrs. Garrett: Gary Coleman Was Our 'Big Star'

5/28/2010 4:50 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Gary Coleman's TV housekeeper is shocked and deeply saddened by his death -- especially because she got the tragic news shortly after hearing he was in the hospital.

0527_charolotte_rae_gary_coleman_EX_Getty

Charlotte Rae
-- who played Mrs. Garrett on "Diff'rent Strokes" -- said she saw a TV report this morning that Gary was hospitalized. A few hours later she got the news he had passed away.

Rae, 84, tells TMZ "I said a prayer for him this morning after hearing about his condition. Gary was so loving, so charming. He was the big star of the show."

Rae also starred in the "Diff'rent Strokes" spin-off, "The Facts of Life" -- which might never have happened without Gary's success. 

"He was the reason the show was a hit."

26 COMMENTS

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1.

tmz@frog.cc    

These are the Facts of Life! R.I.P. little man.

1611 days ago
2.

tlm    

His ignorant wife is probably the one that hit and killed him.

1611 days ago
3.

Anrea    

I live two doors down from Charlotte. I can personally tell you how upset Ms. Raye is and how close their relationship was. Gary was over at the end of March for a small dinner party, that my husband and I also attended.
Gary's wife was demeaning to him then and after dinner Charlotte even told Gary that it was hard seeing him treated that way.
I hope that Gary has finally found peace.
He had many obstacles to overcome and as someone who briefly knew him I can vouch that he was truly as kind in person as he was on the small screen.

1611 days ago
4.

rhonda    

so sorry to hear that we have lost yet another childhood tv icon .prayers to his family . but I am wondering about just how he hurt his head. I saw an episode of Divorce Court he was on with wife shannon who stated that gary frequently had tantrums and would bash his own head into walls . is it possible this happened again and that he hit a support beam?

1611 days ago
5.

brian    

Why didn't she pray for him? Surely a loving God would have cured him right? I mean why didn't he? Is he a jerk or something?



Anyway, how is it fair that Ms. Garrett is still alive while little arnold had to die? She should kill herself, it's the right thing to do, only fair.

1611 days ago
6.

Gary Coleman's Ghost    

Hey don't be sad y'all. Even though I'm dead you can still follow me on twitter! (from heaven) @GaryColemanGhst

1611 days ago
7.

Criss    

"Surely a loving God would have cured him right?"



Do you really need more proof?

1611 days ago
8.

pb    

if that is the case then kutos for t he wife!

1611 days ago
9.

pb    

Hey TG wash the critter!

1611 days ago
10.

pb    

whats the big hub bub? He was cute? in strokes ok ill give him that, he didnt get any taller and copped an tude, what, all upset when someone took his pic? maybe a waste of film?

1611 days ago
11.

Trish    

She was great to watch on t.v. She is right about Gary, he made the show a hit.

1611 days ago
12.

marson    

It sounds like he has been very sick during his life, and his illness may have been the cause of alot of his recent troubles. When you are sick it affects your whole way of looking at things. RIP Gary Coleman, and condolances to the family.

1611 days ago
13.

HoTMZ    

Oh wow I never knew Mrs.Garret from Facts of Life was the housekeeper from Different Strokes!

1611 days ago
14.

Criss    

I almost forgot that Facts Of Life was a spinoff

1611 days ago
15.

Cheryl    

I am amazed at all the stupid things said about this man who is dead now. First, God did not take his life because God is a being who is a giver of life and he does not take lives. You heard the saying that goes: "There is an appointed time to be born and an appointed time we must die." It was just his time to go that's all. Live your life to the fullest and be happy for you never know when it is your last time with family and friends. Tomorrow is not promised to any of us.

1611 days ago
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