Todd Bridges

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Todd Bridges
Todd Bridges 2017-10-28.jpg
Bridges in 2017
Born
Todd Anthony Bridges

(1965-05-27) May 27, 1965 (age 53)
OccupationActor, comedian
Years active1975–present
Spouse(s)Dori Smith (1998-2012)
Children2

Todd Anthony Bridges (born May 27, 1965) is an American actor and comedian.[1] He is known for his role as Willis Jackson on the sitcom Diff'rent Strokes, for his recurring role as Monk on the sitcom Everybody Hates Chris, and as a comedic commentator, from 2008 to 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., a talent 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), with his now ex-wife Dori Bridges (née Smith), is also a former child actor who appeared in the film Daddy Day Camp and an episode of iCarly. Bridges has a daughter, Bo Bridges, from a previous relationship.[3]

During a 2010 appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Bridges revealed that he had been sexually abused at age 11 by a publicist who was also a family friend.[4]

Legal issues[edit]

During his 20s, Bridges battled a crack cocaine addiction. In 1989, 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 argued that Bridges was 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.[5]

Career[edit]

Television[edit]

Bridges (at top right) with the cast of Fish, 1977

Bridges appeared on The Waltons, Little House on the Prairie, and the landmark miniseries Roots, and was a regular on the Barney Miller spinoff Fish. But it was playing Willis Jackson, on the long-running sitcom Diff'rent Strokes, that made him a household name, along with those of fellow co-stars Conrad Bain, Charlotte Rae, Dana Plato, and Gary Coleman. With Rae's death in 2018, Bridges became the last surviving original castmember.[6]

Bridges defeated Vanilla Ice on a 2002 episode of Celebrity Boxing. In 2006, Bridges appeared as a contestant on a celebrity episode of Fear Factor but was eliminated after the first stunt.

Also in 2006, 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.

In January 2007, he appeared as a member of the "mob" on the US version of the game show 1 vs. 100. In the November 14, 2007, episode of the MyNetworkTV show Decision House, titled "Burned Bridges", he appeared with his wife, Dori Bridges. He also had a recurring role on the UPN/The CW sitcom Everybody Hates Chris.

In March 2008, Bridges appeared on 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 smackdown 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.

Music videos[edit]

Bridges has appeared in a few music videos. His first music video appearance was in Penny Ford's single "Change Your Wicked Ways" (1984).[7] Almost 15 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".

Lifesavers[edit]

In 1998, Todd Bridges and his brother James Bridges were credited with saving the life of Stella Kline, a 51-year-old paraplegic woman. The woman nearly drowned when her wheelchair rolled into a lake while she was fishing. Kline said, "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." 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 starring Tony Danza
1992 The Sounds of Silence Joe Goodman Ind. film, co-starring Dana Plato
1992 Homeboy 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 Ind. film, co-starring Dana Plato
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
2005 I Got Five on It (film)
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 Himself 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 Post-Production, directed by Jim O'Rear
2016 Renaissance Man Todd Ind. film, screenplay by Kenneth del Vecchio
2016 Hospital Arrest Prosecutor Denuyl Ind. film, 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 episodes
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
2002 The Young and the Restless Juice 8 episodes
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

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role
2014 Tesla Effect Mantus
2016 2064: Read Only Memories Hayden Webber

Memoir[edit]

Bridges wrote a book, Killing Willis: From Diff'rent Strokes to the Mean Streets to the Life I Always Wanted (2008), discussing his childhood sexual abuse, drug addiction, criminal charges, and efforts to establish a public identity independent of the character, "Willis," he portrayed.[9] He appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show on April 28, 2010, to discuss the troubled past he chronicles in his memoir.[10]

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. ^ Zap, Claudine (29 May 2012). "'Diff'rent Strokes' Star Todd Bridges Divorcing". yahoo.com. Retrieved 5 August 2015.
  4. ^ Okura, Lynn (August 20, 2013). "Todd Bridges, 'Diff'rent Strokes' Star, Talks About Healing From Sexual Abuse". www.huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  5. ^ "PLUS ENTERTAINMENT". highbeam.com. Retrieved 5 August 2015.
  6. ^ 'Diff'rent Strokes': Todd Bridges is now the last living member of the core cast.
  7. ^ Kantor, Justin. "Interview: Penny Ford – The Power of Experience". Blogcritics Magazine. Retrieved 2016-03-08.
  8. ^ Silverman, Stephen M. (April 9, 1998). "Bridges's Latest Strokes". People. Retrieved October 29, 2017.
  9. ^ Bridges, Todd & Tomlinson, Sarah (December 2008). Killing Willis: From Diff'rent Strokes to the Mean Streets to the Life I Always Wanted. Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group. ISBN 9781439148983.
  10. ^ "Former Child Star Todd Bridges' Darkest Days". Oprah.com. Retrieved 5 August 2015.

External links[edit]