David Strickland

Last updated
David Strickland
David Gordon Strickland, Jr.

(1969-10-14)October 14, 1969
Glen Cove, Long Island, New York, U.S.
DiedMarch 22, 1999(1999-03-22) (aged 29)
Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
Cause of death Suicide by hanging
Years active1994–1999
Notable work
Todd Stities in Suddenly Susan

David Gordon Strickland, Jr. (October 14, 1969 – March 22, 1999) was an American actor. He was best known for his role as the boyish rock music reporter Todd Stites in the NBC sitcom Suddenly Susan . [1]



David Gordon Strickland, Jr. was born on October 14, 1969 in Glen Cove, Long Island, New York. His parents, David Gordon Sr. and Karen, both worked as executives. [2] Strickland moved with his family to Princeton, New Jersey, and later to Los Angeles, where he became an actor. Strickland guest starred in the television series Dave's World , Roseanne , Mad About You , and Sister, Sister , until he landed his role on Suddenly Susan in 1996.

In his personal life, Strickland suffered from bipolar disorder and had a long and troubled history of drug and alcohol abuse. He was arrested five months before his death for cocaine possession, pleaded no contest and was sentenced to three years' probation and ordered into drug rehabilitation. He was due in court for a progress report on the day of his death. News reports of events leading up to Strickland's death suggest that he had chosen to stop taking the lithium he was prescribed to control his bipolar disorder. [3]


On March 20, 1999, Strickland and comedian Andy Dick flew from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and spent three days partying in strip clubs. [3] After checking into a motel, Strickland spent time with a sex worker, consumed six bottles of beer, and then hanged himself with a bed sheet over the ceiling beam. He died during the morning hours of March 22, 1999, at the age of 29. [4] His body was discovered by a private investigator hired by his friend and co-star Brooke Shields when Strickland missed his appearance in Los Angeles Municipal Court for cocaine possession. [5] [6] Evidence of drug use was found in his room. The Clark County Coroner concluded that Strickland's body bore the marks of a previous suicide attempt. [7]

After much discussion, the writers of Suddenly Susan decided to deal with Strickland's death directly by killing off his character, Todd Stities. In the show's third season finale, Todd fails to appear at work one day. When Susan calls Todd regarding tickets to a show, his pager vibrates on his desk. After learning for the first time about a number of good deeds he had done throughout his life, Susan spends the day searching for Todd. The episode ends when the police call Jack's phone, and Susan and her coworkers are gathered in a prayer circle, and the details of Todd's fate are left ambiguous. The episode is interspersed with out-of-character interviews with Shields and the show's supporting cast.


1994 Object of Obsession Homeless Man
1994Postcards from AmericaDriver
1995Phobophilia: The Love of Fear
1995 Dave's World Police OfficerEpisode: "What the Early Bird Gets"
1995 Roseanne First CopEpisode: "The Getaway, Almost"
1995–1996 Mad About You Hollis6 episodes
1996 Sister, Sister Dave Barnes3 episodes
1996Mixed NutsRoss KellogTelevision movie
1996–1999 Suddenly Susan Todd Stities71 episodes
1999 Forces of Nature Steve Montgomery
1999 Delivered Will ShermanAlternative title: Death by Pizza

Related Research Articles

Robin Williams American actor and comedian (1951–2014)

Robin McLaurin Williams was an American actor and comedian. Known for his improvisational skills and the wide variety of characters he created on the spur of the moment and portrayed on film, in dramas and comedies alike, he is often regarded as one of the best comedians of all time. Williams began performing stand-up comedy in San Francisco and Los Angeles during the mid-1970s, and rose to fame playing the alien Mork in the ABC sitcom Mork & Mindy (1978–1982).

Robert Downey Jr. American actor

Robert John Downey Jr. is an American actor and producer. His career has been characterized by critical and popular success in his youth, followed by a period of substance abuse and legal troubles, before a resurgence of commercial success in middle age. In 2008, Downey was named by Time magazine among the 100 most influential people in the world, and from 2013 to 2015, he was listed by Forbes as Hollywood's highest-paid actor.

Leif Garrett American actor and singer

Leif Garrett is an American singer, songwriter, actor, and television personality. He worked as a child actor, then in the 1970s became famous as a teen idol in music. He later received much publicity for his drug abuse and legal troubles.

<i>Suddenly Susan</i> American television sitcom

Suddenly Susan is an American television sitcom that aired on NBC from September 19, 1996, to December 26, 2000. The series was created by Clyde Phillips and starred Brooke Shields in her first regular series. Shields played Susan Keane, a glamorous San Francisco magazine writer who begins to adjust to being single, and who learns to be independent-minded after having been taken care of all her life. The series was developed by Gary Dontzig and Steven Peterman, who also served as executive producers during the first three seasons, and was produced by Warner Bros. Television.

Charlie Sheen American film and television actor

Carlos Irwin Estévez, known professionally as Charlie Sheen, is an American actor. He has appeared in films such as Platoon (1986), Wall Street (1987), Young Guns (1988), The Rookie (1990), The Three Musketeers (1993), and The Arrival (1996). In the 2000s, when Sheen replaced Michael J. Fox as the star of ABC's Spin City, his portrayal of Charlie Crawford earned him a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor. He then starred as Charlie Harper on the CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men (2003—11), for which he received several Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominations, and as Dr. Charles "Charlie" Goodson on the FX series Anger Management (2012–14). In 2010, Sheen was the highest-paid actor on television, earning US$1.8 million per episode of Two and a Half Men.

Edward Kirk Herrmann was an American actor, director, and writer. Herrmann was perhaps best known for his portrayals of Franklin D. Roosevelt in the miniseries Eleanor and Franklin (1974), Richard Gilmore in Amy Sherman-Palladino's comedy-drama series Gilmore Girls (2000-2007), and a ubiquitous narrator for historical programs on The History Channel and in such PBS productions as Nova, He was also known as a spokesman for Dodge automobiles in the 1990s.

Andy Dick American comedian, actor, musician, and producer

Andrew Roane Dick is an American comedian, actor, musician, and television and film producer. Known professionally as a comic, his first regular television role was on the short-lived but influential Ben Stiller Show. In the mid-1990s, he had a long-running stint on NBC's NewsRadio and was a supporting character on Less than Perfect. He briefly had his own program, The Andy Dick Show, on MTV. He is noted for his outlandish behavior on a number of Comedy Central Roasts and other appearances. He is also known for his eccentric behavior, drug addiction, and numerous sexual misconduct allegations and arrests.

Michael Nader is an American actor, known for his roles as Dex Dexter on the ABC primetime soap opera Dynasty from 1983 to 1989, and Dimitri Marick on the ABC daytime soap opera All My Children from 1991 to 2001, and in 2013.

Reginald C. Lewis was an American professional basketball player for the National Basketball Association's Boston Celtics from 1987 to 1993.

Todd Bridges American actor

Todd Anthony Bridges is an American actor. He portrayed Willis Jackson on the sitcom Diff'rent Strokes and had a recurring role as Monk on the sitcom Everybody Hates Chris. Bridges worked as a commentator on the television series TruTV Presents: World's Dumbest... from 2008 to 2013. Bridges is the last surviving original actor of Diff'rent Strokes.

Gary Webb American investigative journalist (1955-2004)

Gary Stephen Webb was an American investigative journalist.

Roger Clinton Jr. American actor and musician, half brother of former President Bill Clinton

Roger Clinton Jr. is an American actor and musician. He is known for his role as himself in the 2007 Christmas comedy film Fred Claus, and is the younger half-brother of former United States President Bill Clinton.

Christopher Atkins American actor

Christopher Atkins is an American actor, perhaps best known for his debut in the 1980 film The Blue Lagoon.

Hugh Edward Ralph O'Connor was an Italian-born American actor known for his role as James Flynn in the 1984 film Brass and his portrayal of Lonnie Jamison on In the Heat of the Night until his death in 1995. He was the adopted son of American actor Carroll O'Connor.

Eddie Nash was an American nightclub owner and restaurateur in Los Angeles, as well as a convicted money launderer and drug dealer. Nash is best known as the alleged mastermind of the Wonderland Murders.

Jan-Michael Vincent American actor

Jan-Michael Vincent was an American actor. He was best known for having played helicopter pilot Stringfellow Hawke on the television series Airwolf (1984–1987) and the protagonist, Matt Johnson, in the 1978 film Big Wednesday. He also starred as Byron Henry in The Winds of War.

The Wonderland Gang was a group of drug dealers involved in the Los Angeles cocaine trade during the late 1970s and early 1980s; their home base was located on Wonderland Avenue in the Laurel Canyon section of Los Angeles, California. On July 1, 1981, three members and one associate of the gang died in the Wonderland murders.

"Freeway" Rick Ross American former drug trafficker

Ricky Donnell "Freeway Rick" Ross is an American author and convicted drug trafficker best known for the drug empire he established in Los Angeles, California, in the early to mid 1980s. He was sentenced to life in prison, though the sentence was shortened on appeal and Ross was released in 2009.

Brooke Shields American actress and model

Brooke Christa Shields is an American actress and model. She was initially a child model and gained critical acclaim at age 12 for her leading role in Louis Malle's film Pretty Baby (1978), in which she played a child prostitute in New Orleans at the beginning of the 20th century. Shields garnered widespread notoriety in the role, and she continued to model into her late teenage years and starred in several dramas in the 1980s, including The Blue Lagoon (1980), and Franco Zeffirelli's Endless Love (1981).


  1. Ravo, Nick (March 24, 1999). "David Strickland, 29, Actor; Had Role in Television Sitcom". The New York Times . Retrieved November 26, 2018.
  2. "David Strickland Biography (1969-1999)". Film Reference. Retrieved March 6, 2019.
  3. 1 2 Ryan, Joal (June 1, 1999). "David Strickland's Last Party-Hardy Days". E! News . Retrieved November 21, 2018.
  4. Ryan, Joal (March 24, 1999). ""Suddenly Susan" Costar's Final Hours". E! News . Retrieved November 21, 2018.
  5. Shain, Michael (May 31, 1999). "BROOKE'S PRIVATE EYE NEW REVELATIONS IN SUICIDE OF SHIELDS' 'SUDDENLY' STAR". The New York Post . Retrieved November 21, 2018.
  6. Gliatto, Tom (April 5, 1999). "Dark Forces: Brooke Shields's TV Sitcom Costar David Strickland Takes His Own Troubled Life". People . Retrieved 2 May 2009.
  7. Goldman, Adam (February 15, 2004). "Anonymity of Las Vegas Is a Magnet for Suicidal Tourists". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved November 21, 2018.