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 54)
OccupationActor
Years active1975–present
Children2
RelativesJimmy Bridges (brother)

Todd Anthony Bridges (born May 27, 1965) is an American actor. 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....

Early life[edit]

Bridges was born on May 27, 1965 in San Francisco, California, the son of Betty Alice Pryor, an actress, director, and manager, and James Bridges Sr., a talent agent.[1] Bridges' brother Jimmy Bridges, nieces Penny Bridges, Brooke Bridges and Rachel Bridges, and sister Verda Bridges are all actors.[citation needed]

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 cast member.[2]

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).[3] 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".

Personal life[edit]

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 also has a daughter from a previous relationship.[4] In 1998, Bridges and his brother James 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."[5] In a 2010 appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Bridges said that he was sexually abused at age 11 by a publicist who was also a family friend.[6]

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.[7]

Memoir[edit]

Bridges wrote a book titled 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.[8] He appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show on April 28, 2010 to discuss the troubled past he chronicles in his memoir.[9]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1989 She's Out of Control Water Man
1992 The Sounds of Silence Joe Goodman Independent film, co-starring Dana Plato
1992 Homeboy Johnny Davis
1996 Gangstaz Tyrone
1997 The Girl Gets Moe Dr. Glick
1998 The Waterfront Gary Franklin
1999 Flat Out Dr. Acosta
2000 The Thief & the Stripper Burn
2002 The Beach House Todd
2002 The Climb Eddie
2002 Welcome to America Easy T
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 Himself Cameo
2003 Dumb Luck Lincoln
2004 Land of the Free? Alex
2004 Curse of the Maya Ruben Herardo
2005 Treasure N'Tha Hood Henry Nails
2005 Issues Carson
2005 I Got Five on It Jimmy Direct-to-video
2007 Frankie D Frankie D
2008 Darkroom Charles the Barkeep
2009 See Dick Run ATM
2009 I Got Five on It Too Jimmy
2009 The Jerk Theory Waiter Uncredited[citation needed]
2010 Big Money Rustlas Scruffy Scrub #3
2010 The Apparition of Roxanne Officer Johnston
2010 Do Me a Solid Maurice Short film
2011 King of the Underground Todd
2012 That's My Boy Himself Cameo
2012 Turning Point Marvin
2014 Monsters on Main Street Larry Goleman
2016 Dependent's Day Hank Wright
2016 Precious Mettle Sam
2016 The White Sistas Bishop Wilkins
2016 Dead Ringer Detective Billington
2016 Bar Chronicles The Customer Ind. film
2016 Nightblade Detective Francesco
2016 Renaissance Man Todd
2016 Hospital Arrest Prosecutor Denuyl
2017 The White Sistas Bishop Wilkins
2019 A Psycho's Path Haywood

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1975 Barney Miller Truman Jackson Episode: "The Hero"
1975 The Orphan and the Dude Leonard Brown TV movie
1975 Katherine Robert TV movie
1976 Police Story Little Walter Episode: "Oxford Gray"
1977 Little House on the Prairie Solomon Henry Episode: "The Wisdom of Solomon"
1977 A Circle of Children Todd TV movie
1977 A Killing Affair Todd York TV movie
1977–78 Fish Loomis Main role (35 episodes)
1977/78 The Waltons Josh Foster 2 episodes
1978 The Love Boat Michael Jr. Episode: "Mike and Ike"
1978–86 Diff'rent Strokes Willis Jackson Main role (169 episodes)
1979 The Return of Mod Squad Jason Hayes TV movie
1979/80 CHiPs Todd Bridges 2 episodes (uncredited)[citation needed]
1979 Hello, Larry Willis Jackson 3 episodes
1979/81 The Facts of Life Willis Jackson 2 episodes
1980/81 Here's Boomer Turk/Benny 2 episodes
1983 High School U.S.A. Otto Lipton TV movie
1988 Twice Dead Petie TV movie
1991 The New Lassie Deputy Kirby Episode: "Twin Pekes (Aka Justice)"
1992 The Ben Stiller Show Todd Bridges 2 episodes
1997 L.A. Heat Trevor Episode: "Cop Star"
2000 The Darkling Baron TV movie
2001 Son of the Beach Todd Bridges Episode: "It's a Nude, Nude, Nude, Nude World"
2002 The Rerun Show T.J. Davis 1 episode
2002 The Young and the Restless Juice 8 episodes
2003 Ghost Dog: A Detective Tail Power Plant Guard TV movie
2004 Jane Doe: Now You See It, Now You Don't The Man TV movie
2005 Alien Express Peter TV movie
2007–09 Everybody Hates Chris Monk 17 episodes
2008–12 World's Dumbest Himself 112 episodes
2014 Hotel P Bryce Pilot
2016–18 Sangre Negra Dante Lewis 3 episodes

Video games[edit]

Year Title Voice role
2014 Tesla Effect Mantus
2016 2064: Read Only Memories Hayden Webber
2019 Take a Seat Narrator

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Todd Bridges Biography (1965–)". filmreference.com. Retrieved 5 August 2015.
  2. ^ "'Diff'rent Strokes': Todd Bridges is now the last living member of the core cast". USA TODAY.
  3. ^ Kantor, Justin. "Interview: Penny Ford – The Power of Experience". Blogcritics Magazine. Retrieved 2016-03-08.
  4. ^ Zap, Claudine (29 May 2012). "'Diff'rent Strokes' Star Todd Bridges Divorcing". yahoo.com. Retrieved 5 August 2015.
  5. ^ Silverman, Stephen M. (April 9, 1998). "Bridges's Latest Strokes". People. Retrieved October 29, 2017.
  6. ^ Okura, Lynn (August 20, 2013). "Todd Bridges, 'Diff'rent Strokes' Star, Talks About Healing From Sexual Abuse". HuffPost. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  7. ^ "PLUS ENTERTAINMENT". highbeam.com. Archived from the original on 5 November 2012. Retrieved 5 August 2015.
  8. ^ 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.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  9. ^ "Former Child Star Todd Bridges' Darkest Days". Oprah.com. Retrieved 5 August 2015.

External links[edit]