Todd Bridges

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Todd Bridges
10.17.09ToddBridgesByLuigiNovi.jpg
Bridges at the Big Apple Convention in Manhattan, October 17, 2009.
Born Todd Anthony Bridges
(1965-05-27) May 27, 1965 (age 51)
San Francisco, California, United States
Occupation Actor, comedian
Years active 1975–present
Spouse(s) Dori A. Smith (m. 1998–2012)
Children 1 son, 1 daughter

Todd Anthony Bridges (born May 27, 1965) is an American actor.[1] He is known for his role as Willis Jackson on the sitcom Diff'rent Strokes, and for his recurring role as Monk on the sitcom Everybody Hates Chris. He was a comedic commentator from 2008-2013 on the television series TruTV Presents: World's Dumbest....

Personal life[edit]

Bridges was born May 27, 1965, in San Francisco, California. He is the son of Betty Alice Pryor, an actress, director, and manager, and James Bridges, Sr., an agent.[2] Bridges' brother Jimmy Bridges, nieces Penny Bridges, Brooke Bridges and Rachel Bridges and sister Verda Bridges are all actors. Bridges' son, Spencir Bridges (born July 15, 1998), from his divorced wife Dori Bridges née Smith, is also a child actor and appearing in the film Daddy Day Camp and an iCarly episode. Bridges has a daughter, Bo, from a previous relationship.[3]

Legal issues[edit]

In his 20s, Bridges battled a crack cocaine addiction for several years. In 1988, he was arrested and tried for the attempted murder of Kenneth "Tex" Clay, a Los Angeles area drug dealer who, prosecutors argued, had been shot by Bridges. Bridges pleaded not guilty to the charges and was represented by the high-profile defense attorney Johnnie Cochran. Cochran successfully portrayed Bridges as an abused minor who had been driven to drugs by an exploitative entertainment industry, and was now being unfairly framed. A witness finally testified that Bridges was not present at the time of the shooting. Bridges was acquitted of all charges by a jury.[4]

Career[edit]

Bridges appeared on The Waltons and Little House on the Prairie, and appeared in the landmark miniseries Roots. He was a regular on the Barney Miller spinoff Fish. But it was as Willis Jackson on the long-running sitcom Diff'rent Strokes that he made his name, along with fellow co-stars Conrad Bain, Dana Plato and Gary Coleman. Bridges, Mary Jo Catlett, Danny Cooksey and Charlotte Rae are Diff'rent Strokes' only surviving cast members.

Bridges appeared as a contestant on a 2006 celebrity episode of Fear Factor, but was eliminated after the first stunt. In January 2007, he appeared as a member of the "mob" on the US version of the game show 1 vs. 100. He appeared on MyNetworkTV's new show, Decision House with his wife, Dori Bridges, on the episode titled, "Burned Bridges" aired on November 14, 2007. He also had a recurring role on the sitcom Everybody Hates Chris.

In March 2008, Bridges appeared on truTV's TruTV Presents: World's Dumbest...; he continues to appear as a frequent commentator. That same year in October, he debuted as one of the contestants on Hulk Hogan's Celebrity Championship Wrestling on the CMT Network. He was a member of Team Beefcake (coached by former wrestler Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake). On the show, Bridges' wrestling persona was the character "Mr. Not So Perfect." In one episode, he put the smack down on Tonya Harding with a lead pipe. The judges praised him for his athleticism and his cunning at defeating Harding. After reaching the finals along with Butterbean and Dustin Diamond, Bridges was defeated by Dennis Rodman.

In 2015, Bridges was the host of a live game show, Lovers or Losers: The Game Show, at the Plaza Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Other work[edit]

Bridges wrote a book, Killing Willis: From Diff'rent Strokes to the Mean Streets to the Life I Always Wanted, discussing his childhood sexual abuse, drug addiction, criminal charges, and efforts to establish a public identity independent of the character, "Willis," he portrayed.[5] He appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show on April 28, 2010, to discuss the troubled past he chronicles in his memoir.[6]

He appeared as a contestant on the Fox reality show Skating with Celebrities, but was eliminated on the second episode of the show because he was using roller skates instead of ice skates. Fans[who?] were surprised he made it past the first episode.[citation needed] Todd Bridges defeated Vanilla Ice on a 2002 episode of Celebrity Boxing.

Bridges has appeared in a few music videos. His first music video appearance was in Penny Ford's 1984 single "Change Your Wicked Ways".[7] Almost fifteen years later, he made a cameo in Moby's 2002 music video for "We Are All Made of Stars". In 2011, he appeared in the video for The Black Keys single "Howlin' for You".

In 1998, Todd Bridges and his brother James Bridges were credited with saving the life of a 51-year-old paraplegic woman, Stella Kline. The woman nearly drowned when her wheelchair rolled into a lake while she was fishing. Quoting Kline, "I was thanking God that he was there, and you know, everybody's been saying nothing but bad stuff about Todd Bridges on the news and in the papers... He has a heart of gold." Todd Bridges remarked on the rescue, "We felt God put us there at the right time to save this lady's life, because there was no one else around."[8]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1989 She's Out of Control Water Man Ind. film
1992 The Sounds of Silence Joe Goodman Ind. film, co-starring Dana Plato
1992 Homeboys Johnny Davis Ind. film, co-starring David Garrison
1996 Gangstaz Tyrone Ind. film
1997 The Girl Gets Moe Dr. Glick Ind. film starring Tony Danza
1997 Hoover Park Ind. film co-starring Laura Harring
1998 The Waterfront Directed by John M. Sjogren
1999 Flat Out Dr. Acosta Directed by John M. Sjogren
2000 The Thief & the Stripper Burn Directed by John M. Sjogren & co-starring Michael Madsen
2002 The Beach House Todd
2002 The Climb Eddie
2002 Welcome to America Easy T Directed by John M. Sjogren, co-starring Michael Madsen
2002 Scream at the Sound of the Beep Lamar
2002 Pacino is Missing Harrison Dodge
2002 Baby of the Family Ted
2003 Pauly Shore Is Dead Cameo
2003 Ghost Dog: A Detective Tail Power Plant Guard starring Jack Wagner
2003 Dumb Luck Lincoln
2004 Land of the Free? Alex
2004 Curse of the Maya Ruben Herardo
2005 Treasure N'Tha Hood Henry Nails Ind. film, directed by Greg Carter
2005 Issues Carson Ind. film, co-starring Laz Alonso
2007 Frankie D Frankie D Ind. film
2008 Darkroom Charles the Barkeep Ind. film, directed by Iosua Tai Taeoalii
2009 See Dick Run ATM Ind. film, co-starring Kel Mitchell and Page Kennedy
2009 I Got Five on It Too Jimmy Ind. film
2009 The Jerk Theory Waiter (uncredited) Starring John Henderson
2010 Big Money Rustlas Scruffy Scrub #3
2010 The Apparition of Roxanne Officer Johnston
2010 Do Me a Solid Maurice Short Film, co-starring Brent Huff
2011 King of the Underground Todd Co-starring Paula Jai Parker and Malcolm-Jamal Warner
2012 That's My Boy Cameo
2012 Turning Point Marvin
2014 Monsters on Main Street Larry Goleman Ind. film
2014 College Friday Night Ind. film, co-starring Sara Fletcher
2016 Dependent's Day Hank Wright Ind. film
2016 Precious Mettle Sam Ind. film
2016 The White Sistas Bishop Wilkins Post-Production, directed by Paula Jai Parker
2016 Dead Ringer Detective Billington Post-Production, directed by Johnny Kearns
2016 Bar Chronicles The Customer Post-Production, Ind. film
2016 Nightblade Detective Francesco Pre-Production, directed by Jim O'Rear
2016 Renaissance Man Todd Post-Production, screenplay by Kenneth del Vecchio
2016 Hospital Arrest Prosecutor Denuyl Post-Production, screenplay by Kenneth del Vecchio
2017 The Deaf Kid Harold Pre-Production, Ind. film
2017 Nat Turner: Story of A Prophet Jack Waller Pre-Production

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1975 Barney Miller Truman Jackson 1 episode
1975 The Orphan and the Dude Leonard Brown TV Movie, directed by James Frawley
1975 Katherine Robert TV Movie
1976 Police Story Little Walter 1 episode
1977 Roots Bud 1 episode
1977 Little House on the Prairie Solomon Henry 1 episode
1977 A Circle of Children Todd TV Movie, directed by Don Taylor
1977 A Killing Affair Todd York TV Movie
1977-1978 Fish Loomis Main role, 35 episodes
1977-1978 The Waltons Josh Foster 2 episodes
1978 The Love Boat Michael Jr. 1 episode
1978-1986 Diff'rent Strokes Willis Jackson Main role, 169 episodes
1979 The Return of Mod Squad Jason Hayes TV Movie
1979 CHiPs Todd Bridges (uncredited) 1 episode
1979 Hello, Larry Willis Jackson 3 episodes
1979-1981 The Facts of Life Willis Jackson 2 episode
1980-1981 Here's Boomer Turk/Benny 2 episodes
1983 High School U.S.A. Otto Lipton TV Movie, directed by Rodney Amateau
1988 Twice Dead Petie TV Movie
1991 The New Lassie Deputy Kirby 1 episode
1992 The Ben Stiller Show Todd Bridges 2 episodes
1996 Circle of Pain TV Movie, co-starring Rosalind Cash
1997 L.A. Heat Trevor 1 episode
2000 The Darkling Baron TV Movie, directed by Po-Chih Leong
2001 Son of the Beach Todd Bridges 1 episode
2002 The Rerun Show T.J. Davis 1 episode
2004 Jane Doe: Now You See It, Now You Don't The Man TV Movie
2005 Alien Express Peter TV Movie
2007-2009 Everybody Hates Chris Monk 17 episodes
2012 World's Dumbest Himself 1 episode
2014 Hotel P Bryce 1 episode (pilot)
2015 Roommates on Elm Street The Landlord 3 episodes

Books[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Todd Bridges". nytimes.com. The New York Times Company. Retrieved August 5, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Todd Bridges Biography (1965-)". filmreference.com. Retrieved 5 August 2015. 
  3. ^ "'Diff'rent Strokes' Star Todd Bridges Divorcing". yahoo.com. 29 May 2012. Retrieved 5 August 2015. 
  4. ^ "PLUS ENTERTAINMENT". highbeam.com. Retrieved 5 August 2015. 
  5. ^ "Killing Willis: From Diff'rent Strokes to the Mean Streets to the Life I Always Wanted: Todd Bridges, Sarah Tomlinson: 9781439148983: Amazon.com: Books". amazon.com. Retrieved 5 August 2015. 
  6. ^ "Former Child Star Todd Bridges' Darkest Days". Oprah.com. Retrieved 5 August 2015. 
  7. ^ Kantor, Justin. "Interview: Penny Ford – The Power of Experience". blogcritics.org. Blogcritics Magazine. Retrieved 2016-03-08. 
  8. ^ Stephen M. Silverman. "Bridges's Latest Strokes". People. 

External links[edit]