8 Things You Didn’t Know About Diff’rent Strokes
4. Gary Coleman’s Health Issues
Gary Coleman was born with nephritis, a congenital kidney disease that compromises the autoimmunity of the organ. He underwent two unsuccessful kidney transplants in 1973 and 1984. Instead of undergoing a third operation, he purchased a portable self-dialysis machine and proceeded to give himself dialysis four times daily. Despite his health problems and his age, he worked long hours on the set of Diff’rent Strokes, which reportedly made him unhappy and caused him to separate himself from the rest of the cast.
3. On-Set Feud
Dixie Carter reportedly clashed with Gary Oldman, who played her on-screen stepson. She left the show after just one season to star on Designing Women and then refused to talk about the experience during interviews. Mary Ann Mobley, who had been a runner-up for the role during the initial casting for the character Maggie Drummond, replaced her on Diff’rent Strokes.