Two Deaths in Hollywood — Gary Coleman and Dennis Hopper

by Ryan on May 29, 2010

in Anything Else,Nostalgia,Politics,Pop Culture

Yesterday, word came that former Diff’rent Strokes star, TV cameo regular, and former California gubernatorial candidate (but who wasn’t in 2003?) Gary Coleman died of an intracranial hemorrhage at the age of 42.  He had kidney issues his whole life, which stunted his growth making him seem forever young.  I was shocked to hear that he was 42!  He’ll also be forever tied to his famous line in Diff’rent Strokes, “What you talking about Willis?”

Also, word came a few hours ago that actor Dennis Hopper died of prostate cancer at the age of 74.  Hopper has been in dozens of big films and TV shows spanning five decades including Rebel Without a Cause with James Dean in 1955, the groundbreaking Easy Rider in 1969 and Apocalypse Now in 1979.  He’s also featured in a few documentary clips I show my students from the 1960s:  when Hopper marched along in the crowds following Dr. King to Selma in 1965, and for his highly controversial role as “Billy” in Easy Rider, which was criticized openly by Vice President Spiro Agnew back in the day.

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