Todd Bridges

Actor, Director, Writer
Like his best known character Willis Jackson, Todd Bridges experienced a real-life reversal of fortune. But instead of the classic rags-to-riches tale, Bridges' off-screen story took a sad turn, fueled by a drug ... Read more »
Born: 05/27/1965 in San Francisco, California, USA

Filmography

Actor (53)

Baby of the Family 2014 (Movie)

Ted (Actor)

Dumb Luck 2014 (Movie)

(Actor)

King of Hollywood 2014 (Movie)

(Actor)

Scream at the Sound of the Beep 2014 (Movie)

(Actor)

See Dick Run 2014 (Movie)

ATM (Actor)

The Jerk Theory 2014 (Movie)

Waiter (Actor)

That's My Boy 2012 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Hulk Hogan's Celebrity Championship Wrestling 2008 - 2009 (TV Show)

Actor

The Ben Stiller Show 1992 - 1993, 2003 - 2004, 2007 - 2009 (Tv Show)

Actor

truTV Presents: World's Dumbest... 2003 - 2004, 2007 - 2009 (Tv Show)

Actor

Issues 2006 (Movie)

Carson (Actor)

Skating With Celebrities 2005 - 2006 (TV Show)

Actor

100 Greatest Kid Stars 2004 - 2005 (TV Show)

Actor

Jane Doe: Now You See It, Now You Don't 2004 - 2005 (TV Show)

Actor

The Surreal Life 2003 - 2004 (Tv Show)

Actor

Treasure in the Hood 2004 (Movie)

(Actor)

Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star 2003 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Ghost Dog: A Detective Tail 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)

Actor

TV Land Awards: A Celebration of Classic TV 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)

Actor

Celebrity Boxing 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Son of the Beach 1999 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

The Climb 2002 (Movie)

Eddie (Actor)

TV Guide's Truth Behind the Sitcoms 2 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Pacino Is Missing 1997 (Movie)

(Actor)

Homeboys 1991 (Movie)

Johnny Davis (Actor)

The Lost Youth of Hollywood 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

She's Out Of Control 1989 (Movie)

Water Man (Actor)

Twice Dead 1988 (Movie)

Petie (Actor)

Diff'rent Strokes 1978 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

High School U.S.A. 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

Circus of the Stars 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Actor

Circus of the Stars 1981 - 1982 (TV Show)

Actor

Good Evening, Captain 1980 - 1981 (TV Show)

Actor

Battle of the Network Stars VI 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)

Actor

A Killing Affair 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Actor

Komedy Tonite 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Actor

Katherine 1975 - 1976 (TV Show)

Actor

The Orphan and the Dude 1974 - 1975 (TV Show)

Actor

Alien Express (TV Show)

Actor

Battle of the Video Games (TV Show)

Actor

CHiPs (TV Show)

Actor

Child Stars: Their Story (TV Show)

Actor

Fish (TV Show)

Actor

Roots (TV Show)

Actor

The Darkling (TV Show)

Actor

The Return of Mod Squad (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

Like his best known character Willis Jackson, Todd Bridges experienced a real-life reversal of fortune. But instead of the classic rags-to-riches tale, Bridges' off-screen story took a sad turn, fueled by a drug addiction, abuse and the typical trappings of too-soon childhood stardom. Beginning in the late 1970s, the talented actor became a teen idol as Gary Coleman's older and street-smart brother on the hit comedy, "Diff'rent Strokes" (NBC, 1978-1986), even inspiring one of the medium's most iconic catchphrases: "Whatchoo talkin' 'bout Willis?" Lauded for its witty dialogue and stellar performances, the groundbreaking series became one of the first shows to shed light on controversial subjects such as poverty, child molestation and drug use. During his stint on "Strokes," Bridges became a highly sought after TV celebrity, appearing on popular programs like "The Facts of Life" (CBS, 1979-1988) and "The Love Boat" (ABC, 1977-1986). "Diff'rent Strokes" enjoyed high ratings during its eight-year run but when it ended, so too did Bridges career. Unable to reinvent himself as an adult actor, he quickly turned to a life of crime and drug addiction. Bridges' substance abuse consumed him; he had several run-ins with the law and faced criminal charges that almost earned him a life sentence for fatally shooting a drug dealer. It took nearly a decade for Bridges to get sober and start rebuilding his life. After watching many of his child star contemporaries lose their way and, at times, their lives, Bridges' struggle became an inspiration and a testament to surviving in a brutal business.

Relationships

Dori Bridges Actor

Wife
Married May 25, 1998 Announced separation in May 2012

Betty A. Bridges Actor

Mother

James Bridges

Father

Spencir Bridges Actor

Son
Born July 15, 1998; mother, Dori Bridges

Verda Bridges Actor

Sister
Born Aug. 28, 1961

Jimmy Bridges Jr. Actor

Brother
Born Sept. 15, 1960

Milestones

2007

Joined the cast of the CW series, "Everybody Hates Chris" as Mr. Harris' (Antonio Fargas) nephew Monk

2006

Competed in the Fox reality show, "Skating with Celebrities"

2002

Cast in a recurring role in the award-winning daytime drama "The Young and The Restless"

1999

Wrote, directed, produced and starred in the biopic about his life, "Building Bridges"

1989

Charged with shooting a man in Los Angeles CA; imprisoned

1978

Cast as Willis in hit series "Diff'rent Strokes"; series ran until 1986

1977

Cast as a regular on the "Barnie Miller" spin-off "Fish"

1977

Cast in the historical miniseries "Roots"

1973

Made his TV devut starring with his entire family in a Jell-O commercial (date approximate)

1972

Moved from San Franciso to Los Angeles with his family

Made guest appearances on "The Waltons," "Little House on the Prairie" and "Barnie Miller"

Amidst a tumultuous decade battling a drug addiction and run-ins with the law, Bridges appeared in a few low-budget films and made several small television appearances

Bonus Trivia

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Bridges has traveled the country lecturing teens on drugs, alcohol and safe sex

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Bridges founded an organization for troubled teens called The Todd Bridges Youth Foundation in 1992

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Bridges has traveled into U.S. speaking to over 6,000 kids per day in schools and churches discussing the dangers of drug use, negative peer pressure, and promoting his religious beliefs.

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