BY: Elizabeth White
Associated Press Writer
SALT LAKE CITY – The independent attorney appointed to oversee the property and cremation of late actor Gary Coleman said Wednesday there will be no funeral services for the former child TV star.
A Utah judge on Monday named Robert Jeffs the special administrator of Coleman’s estate after a dispute between the ‘Diff’rent Strokes‘ star’s ex-wife and ex-girlfriend.
Jeffs told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Coleman’s 2005 will specifies that there should be no funeral services.
Coleman died May 28 after suffering a brain hemorrhage at his home in Santaquin, 55 miles south of Salt Lake City.
The judge ordered that Coleman’s remains be cremated no sooner than Wednesday afternoon.
“The judge hasn’t entered the order granting me authority as special administrator,” Jeffs said. “That’s just a technicality; (I) need a formalized order.”
Jeffs said even if the order were entered Wednesday, it was unlikely Coleman would be cremated the same day.
Jeffs has said Coleman’s ashes and property will be securely stored until a final determination is made on an estate executor. It’s a decision Jeffs said could take months.
Coleman said in a 1999 will that he wanted to be remembered in a wake conducted by people who had no financial ties to him and “can look each other in the eyes and say they really cared personally for Gary Coleman.” 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.
That will named Dion Mial, one of Coleman’s friends and former managers, who on Monday withdrew his petition to be named as the special administrator of Coleman’s estate. Mial’s attorney said the 2005 will that names ex-girlfriend Anna Gray as administrator takes precedence because it is more recent.
Gray and Coleman’s ex-wife, Shannon Price, both contend they are the lawful administrators of Coleman’s estate. Price is named in a 2007 handwritten note by Coleman that names her as the sole heir.
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. Coleman played Arnold Jackson, the younger of the two brothers.
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