Today’s SI.com column …

gary_coleman

is about the made-for-TV sports movie career of one of my all-time childhood favorites, Gary Coleman.

Man, so much to say about this one. I’ve always had a very soft spot in my heart for Coleman and Emmanuel Lewis, the two diminutive African-American child stars from the late 1970s-through-mid-80s. Both kids were basically plucked from obscurity and turned into minstrel acts, which sickens me to this day. Hell, think of both shows—Diff’rent Strokes and Webster. Parents of black kids die, and they’re saved by the white people. I’m not joking here … disturbing times.

Coleman was a piece of meat, and it sucks. His life was terrible; his parents terrible; his wife apparently terrible. Hell, she sold the final photograph of him, in a hospital, tubes running up his nose, to The Globe for $10,000. Had she approached me, I would have tried cobbling together the $10,001 to prevent her from doing so.

One of the people I interviewed for the column was Meeno Peluce, who you might remember from the 80s series Voyagers (he’s now an insanely talented photographer. Seriously, check out his site). When they were little kids, Meeno and Gary Coleman appeared in a made-for-TV movie called Scout’s Honor. Meeno told me the saddest Coleman story I’ve ever heard. He invited Meeno to his 10th birthday party, at a steakhouse somewhere in L.A. “I was excited,” Meeno said. “It was a party, and it was Gary Coleman. I’d never even been to a steakhouse before.” Meeno arrived with his mother, and was shocked to see he was the only guest. “He didn’t have friends,” he said. “It was just tragic.”

R.I.P.

2 thoughts on “Today’s SI.com column …”

  1. Jeff,

    Thank you so much for that column and the reminder of The Kid From Left Field.

    From the time I was 8 througb age 11, my mum would rent just about any movie that had sports in it. So I saw that Gary Coleman vehicle, and remember the plot had the Padres beating the Cubs in the NLCS — exactly as the real-life team did in 1984.

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