Gary Coleman, Nancy Reagan
Credit: Robert Phillips/Everett Collection

Image Credit: Robert Phillips/Everett CollectionGary Coleman, who passed away today at the age of 42, had his share of ups and downs since his days on the 1978-86 comedy Diff’rent Strokes. But all it took was that one standout performance as the adorable and feisty Arnold Jackson to carve himself a place in pop culture history. Say what you will, but few lines are more iconic than Coleman’s “Whatchoo talkin’ ’bout, Willis”? Here, we’ve rounded up five memorable moments featuring Coleman in the role that made him a child star.

• Coleman shared the screen with First Lady Nancy Reagan, who guest-starred in a season 5 episode to promote her “Just Say No” anti-drug campaign.

• In one of TV’s early “very special” episodes, a pedophile bike-shop owner (played by WKRP in Cincinnati‘s Gordon Jump) gets creepy with Arnold and his friend Dudley.

• In one of the show’s early episodes, Arnold and Willis have trouble adjusting to their new privileged life with the Drummonds.

• A young Janet Jackson (fresh off of Good Times) stops by to flirt with Willis and show off her pipes.

• Arnold goes on his first date…


What are your favorite Diff’rent Strokes moments with Coleman?

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