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Friends and Co-Stars Remember Gary Coleman

5/29/2010 8:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

TMZ spoke with several people who knew Gary Coleman. Here's what they said.

Remembering Gary Coleman

Charlotte Rae

“Gary was so loving, so charming … He was the big star of the show. He was the reason the show was a hit.”

— Charlotte Rae

Avenue Q

“On behalf of the Avenue Q family, we feel this is a great loss. In a way, we are with Gary Coleman everyday. His character on stage is humorous, but it also reflects great compassion and respects his place in the industry. In a small way, Gary is going to live on with the show.” — Steve Gabriel, producer “Avenue Q”

Traci Bingham

“The sudden passing of Gary Coleman comes to a great shock. I was fortunate to have the honorable pleasure to work with him. I got to know him during my experience on ‘The Surreal Life.’ The moment he walked onto the set, we instantly bonded. I found him to be incredibly funny, intelligent, loving and outgoing. He always had such a positive outlook on life and people! Gary will truly be missed by the world and he will forever live on in my heart!! Gary, i love you!”Xoxo Love always, Traci Bingham

Vanilla Ice

“I’m shocked and deeply saddened. He was a great guy, a legend – everyone knows Gary Coleman. We had a good time on ‘Surreal Life.’ I’ll always remember the time he and I had. He was fun to be around for the most part. Just a good, funny guy.”

— Vanilla Ice

Danny Cooksey

“I really looked up to Gary … I’d watch him and learn … We shot in front of a live audience … He took me under his wing … I learned a tremendous amount from him. I would go over to his house and look at his train set. He was really into trains and had a huge room dedicated to his trains, but I couldn’t touch them. They were only for looking – the trains were Gary’s baby … Gary also had the full-on arcade version of ‘Spy Hunter,’ which in 1985 was a big deal.” — Danny Cooksey, step-brother Sam on “Diff’rent Strokes.”

Midgets & Mascots

“He had a good heart. Underneath the exterior was a goodhearted guy.”

— Ron Carlson, Director of “Midgets Vs. Mascots”

Trishelle Cannatella

“This is awful. I’m really sad by the news. I’m praying for his wife.” — Trishelle Cannatella, “Surreal Life”

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