Gary Coleman

was a precocious and imaginative child with a singular drive to succeed, the late actor's parents,

Sue

and

W.G. "Willie" Coleman

tell People. "We always worried how he could be self-sufficient in life because of his condition," says Sue, 67, referring to the congenital kidney disease that halted Gary's growth.

Gary, 42, died Friday after falling and hitting his head at his home. In her 911 call, which has been posted by TMZ, his panicked wife, Shannon Price, helplessly says, "There's blood all over. And I can't do anything."

Gary's Diff'rent Strokes costar, Charlotte Rae, tells Entertainment Tonight that the diminutive star "was a beautiful soul. . . . He was a phenomenon. This little, tiny young kid - smart, talented - and the world just fell in love with him, and I did, too." Coleman's family is planning to hold a memorial this weekend in Salt Lake City, but has yet to decide if the service will be open to the public.

From 'Michelle' to Michelle

A tribute concert at the White House for

Paul McCartney had President and Michelle Obama and their children rocking in their seats Wednesday night. In the ornate East Room,

an all-star lineup cranked out some of McCartney's greatest hits. Stevie Wonder performed "We Can Work It Out"; the Jonas Brothers did "Baby You Can Drive My Car."

But it was McCartney who brought down the house with "Michelle," aiming his words at the first lady. He said he'd been "itching" to perform it at the White House and had asked the president's forgiveness in advance, later joking that he just might be the "first guy ever to be punched out by a president."

No hard feelings from the president, who hailed McCartney's songs as a huge part of American culture, telling the singer-songwriter: "That's right, we stole you, Sir Paul."

The night was built around Obama's presentation to McCartney of the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, awarded by the

Library of Congress. The concert will air July 28 on PBS.

Fame? It's worse than death

All ye wannabe stars, heed

Kristen Stewart

's advice. The

Twilight

star loathes being snapped by paparazzi.

"The photos are so . . . I feel like I'm looking at someone being raped," she tells British Elle.

"A lot of the time I can't handle it."

Fame, the attention it brings, the fans it inspires, can radically alter one's identity, a philosophical Kristen says.

"Your little persona is made up of all the places that people have seen you and what has been said about you," says the star, who assays the role of babe rocker Joan Jett in The Runaways. "What you don't see are the cameras shoved in my face and the bizarre intrusive questions being asked."

But Kristen isn't complaining. "It's not that I'm miserable. . . . I never expected that this would be my life."

Ted Koppel mourns his son

TV journalist

Ted Koppel

says in a statement that he will spend his life mourning son

Andrew

, who died Monday at the age of 40 after barhopping with a friend.

"Our son, Andrew, was a brilliant, caring man, whose loss we will mourn for the rest of our lives," Ted Koppel and his wife, Grace Anne Dorney Koppel, said in the statement. Andrew was the third of the couple's four children.

Stars will fix oil spill

The Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, which has plagued our shores for weeks, will soon be history - now that the stars have decided to weigh in.

First up, dot.orgs the Oceana organization and the Natural Resources Defense Council say Dallas star Victoria Principal has made a $200,000 donation to help with the cleanup efforts. Oceana's board of directors includes Damages star Ted Danson, who has blasted offshore drilling for years.

Meanwhile, the federal gov has admitted it's all out of ideas. So much so that it's relying on the world's greatest Hollywood moneymaker to solve its problems. That would be Avatar dude James Cameron, who this week joined a group of fellow experts and scientists retained for advice. (To be fair, JC is an expert on underwater filming and remote vehicle technologies.) Let's hope the celebs can fix what neither the oil giants nor the feds can.

'Glee' CD retains top place

Glee

is so hot, its latest soundtrack album,

Glee - The Music Volume 3: Showstoppers

, dominates the Billboard album charts for a second week, selling 63,000 units, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The CD has sold a total of 199,000 copies.

The Stone Temple Pilots

' self-titled comeback album is No. 2 with 62,000.

Tidbits 'n' pieces

Speaking of all things

Glee

, show star

Jane Lynch

has a lot to be gleeful about: Lynch, 49, wed psychologist

Lara Embry

on Memorial Day in Sunderland, Mass., says the Blue Heron restaurant, which hosted the event. Lynch has yet to confirm. . . .

Spencer Pratt'

s wife,

Heidi Montag

, 23, tells People she has suspended relations with Mr. Pratt so she could get "some alone time." But she ain't divorcing the guy just yet: "I've always loved Spencer . . . but right now we're working on things." . . .

Kate Gosselin

, who has no desire for fame, is relieved to be off

Dancing With The Stars

: "I am glad to have our 'family job' back," she writes on her blog. "It still makes me smile to be able to enjoy unique life experiences right alongside my eight favoritest people!"

John Mayer sick in body or soul?

What's with

John Mayer

? The rocker, who shocked the world with a chat in Playboy about women and sex, on Wednesday said he is canceling a slew of concerts in Europe. His website says Mayer, 32, is ill and on his way to America to recuperate. Don't fret: "A full recovery is expected under a doctor's supervision."

Contact "SideShow" at sideshow@phillynews.com.

This article contains information from Inquirer wire services.