Gary Coleman's 1999 will filed in Utah court

Tuesday, June 08, 2010
Gary Coleman

FILE - In this Feb. 26, 2008 file photo, actor Gary Coleman appears on the the NBC "Today" program in New York. A Utah hospital says said Thursday May 27, 2010 that former child television star Gary Coleman has been admitted in critical condition.(AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Gary Coleman's will names a friend and former manager as executor of the late child star's estate and specifies that he wanted to be cremated.

The will was filed Tuesday in 4th District Court in Provo, where the 42-year-old Coleman died May 28 after suffering a brain hemorrhage. Coleman appointed friend Dion Mial as his executor


Coleman says in the 1999 will that he wanted to be remembered in a wake conducted by people who had no financial ties to the star of the sitcom "Diff'rent Strokes." He also wanted none of the media that followed Coleman's legal, financial, health and marriage troubles through his adult life to be allowed to attend.

"I direct my personal representative to permit no members of the press to be present at my wake or funeral," Coleman stated in the will.

Not mentioned in the will is ex-wife Shannon Price, whom Coleman was still years from meeting when he wrote the will in 1999. Coleman met Price on a movie set in 2006. The couple married in 2007 and divorced in 2008.

A representative says Price believes she has a claim to the estate and planned to meet with her lawyer Tuesday. Although the couple was divorced, they still lived together in Santaquin, about 55 miles south of Salt Lake City. It was Price - who was named in an advanced health care directive - who ordered that Coleman be taken off of life support.

Mial, who did not immediately return messages seeking comment Tuesday, accused Price of trying to profit from Coleman's death and the publicity it has created.


he story has developed in less than two weeks into the kind of tabloid fodder Coleman grew to loath in his post-stardom life. He stated in the will that after his remains are cremated, he would like a private wake "conducted by those who have had no financial ties to me and can look each other in the eyes and say they really cared personally for Gary Coleman."

Price referred to Coleman as her husband when she called 911, saying Coleman had fallen and was bleeding severely from the back of his head.

Coleman was still conscious when he was taken to a hospital in Provo, but slipped into unconsciousness the next day and was placed on life support for a day.

Coleman starred for eight seasons on the sitcom "Diff'rent Strokes," starting in 1978. The tiny 10-year-old's "Whachu talkin' 'bout?" became a catch phrase in the show about two African-American brothers adopted by a wealthy white man. He played Arnold Jackson, the younger of the two brothers.

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