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His birthday wish? Diff'rent Strokes remake



Coleman Gary Coleman turns 40 years old today. Everybody together now: "What choo talkin' bout, Willis!"

It's at this point that normally I'd make a case that today's 80s birthday hero wasn't a one-trick pony. But sadly, Coleman doesn't give me much to work with. A quick glance at his work in the 80s ("On The Right Track," "The Kid With The 200 I.Q." etc. ) ... well, you just better love "Diff'rent Strokes!"

But give Gary credit: He's still a working actor. He may not have the tremendous acting chops of Conrad Bain or Dana Plato to lean on anymore. But I'd gladly exchange my paycheck for the one he got for playing "Pizza Guy" in 2007's "A Christmas Too Many."

Still, it's his guest appearances that I really covet.


5. SIMON & SIMON: Every 80s star guest-starred on this show at one point or another. Coleman appeared in 1986 as "Lewis Peoples."

4. SILVER SPOONS: He played his Diff'rent Strokes character "Arnold Jackson" for one episode.

3. THE FACTS OF LIFE: He played "Arnold Jackson" for two episodes this time. Even Mrs. Garrett was ready to boot him from the house after that, I'm guessing. 

2. STEVEN SPIELBERG'S AMAZING STORIES: Playing "Arnold" again? Yep. Only Spielberg could come up with a storyline for someone as overexposed as Coleman by now.

1. BUCK ROGERS IN THE 25TH CENTURY: Coleman plays "Hieronymous Fox." Great stage name. And getting to snuggle up next to Erin Gray -- interstellar!

[Getty Images]

[Last modified: Wednesday, June 9, 2010 2:29pm]


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