Todd Bridges

Last updated
Todd Bridges
Todd Bridges 2017-10-28.jpg
Bridges at the Chiller Theatre Expo in 2017
Born
Todd Anthony Bridges

(1965-05-27) May 27, 1965 (age 58)
OccupationActor
Years active1975–present
Spouse(s)Dori Smith (divorced)
Bettijo Hirschi
(m. 2022)
Children2
Relatives Jimmy Bridges (brother)

Todd Anthony Bridges (born May 27, 1965) 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.

Contents

Early life

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] His brother Jimmy Bridges and sister Verda Bridges are also actors. [2]

Career

Television

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

Bridges appeared on The Waltons , Little House on the Prairie , "The Love Boat" Season 2 Episode 5, and the landmark miniseries Roots . He was a regular on the Barney Miller spinoff Fish . It was playing Willis Jackson on the NBC 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. [3] (Two actors who joined the regular cast later are still living as of 2022: Mary Jo Catlett and Danny Cooksey.)

Bridges appeared in the 2002 special Celebrity Boxing with friend Vanilla Ice, whom he defeated. 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 in 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 American version of the game show 1 vs. 100 . He and his wife Dori Bridges appeared in the November 14, 2007 episode of the MyNetworkTV show Decision House titled "Burned Bridges." He also had a recurring role as Monk on the UPN/The CW sitcom Everybody Hates Chris .

The cast of Diff'rent Strokes with guest star Nancy Reagan in 1983 Nancyreagandiffrentstrokes.jpg
The cast of Diff'rent Strokes with guest star Nancy Reagan in 1983

In March 2008, Bridges appeared on TruTV Presents: World's Dumbest... , on which he continues to appear as a frequent commentator. That October, he debuted as a contestant on Hulk Hogan's Celebrity Championship Wrestling on CMT as a member of Team Beefcake (coached by former wrestler Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake). Bridges' wrestling persona was the character Mr. Not So Perfect. In one episode, he defeated Tonya Harding with a lead pipe. The judges praised him for his athleticism and his cunning while 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 titled Lovers or Losers: The Game Show at the Plaza Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. In 2022, Bridges was announced as a HouseGuest competing in the third season of Celebrity Big Brother . [4]

Music videos

Bridges has appeared in several music videos. His first appearance was in Penny Ford's single "Change Your Wicked Ways" (1984). [5] He made a cameo in Moby's 2002 music video for "We Are All Made of Stars" and in the video for the Black Keys' 2011 single "Howlin' for You."

Personal life

Bridges' son Spencir Bridges (born July 15, 1998) from his marriage to former wife Dori Bridges (née Smith) is also a former child actor who appeared in the film Daddy Day Camp and an episode of iCarly . [6] Bridges also has a daughter from a previous relationship. [2] [7]

In 1998, Bridges and his brother James saved the life of Stella Kline, a 51-year-old paraplegic woman who 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: "We felt God put us there at the right time to save this lady's life, because there was no one else around." [8]

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. [9]

On September 25, 2022, he married designer Bettijo Hirschi. [10]

Bridges started smoking marijuana as a 15-year-old star on Diff'rent Strokes. [11] In his twenties, Bridges battled a crack cocaine and methamphetamine addiction. He bought and sold drugs to support his addiction. Bridges was arrested for felony assault and cocaine possession. [12]

In 1983, Bridges was fined $240 for carrying a concealed firearm. [13] In 1987, he received a suspended sentence after pleading no contest when charged with making a bomb threat. [13]

In 1989, Bridges 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 and was represented by the famous defense attorney Johnnie Cochran, who argued that Bridges was an abused minor who had been driven to drugs by an exploitative entertainment industry and was now being framed. A witness finally testified that Bridges was not present at the shooting, and Bridges was acquitted of all charges by a jury. [14] [15]

Bridges was arrested on December 29, 1992, on suspicion of transporting narcotics for sale and possession of a loaded firearm after Burbank, California police officers discovered methamphetamines and a loaded gun in his car. He was released on $10,000 bail. [12] [13] Bridges stopped using drugs on February 24, 1993, after years of use. [11] [16]

Memoir

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 Willis character. [17] He appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show on April 28, 2010 to discuss the troubled past that he had chronicled in his memoir. [12]

Filmography

Film

YearTitleRoleNotes
1989 She's Out of Control Water Man
1992The Sounds of SilenceJoe GoodmanIndependent film, co-starring Dana Plato
HomeboyJohnny Davis
1996GangstazTyrone
1997The Girl Gets MoeDr. Glick
1998The WaterfrontGary Franklin
1999Flat OutDr. Acosta
2000The Thief & the StripperBurn
2002The Beach HouseTodd
The Climb Eddie
Welcome to America Easy T
Scream at the Sound of the BeepLamar
Pacino is MissingHarrison DodgeInd. film, co-starring Dana Plato
Baby of the FamilyTed
2003 Pauly Shore Is Dead HimselfCameo
Dumb LuckLincoln
2004 Land of the Free? Alex
Curse of the Maya Ruben Herardo
2005Treasure N'Tha HoodHenry Nails
IssuesCarson
I Got Five on ItJimmyDirect-to-video
2006San FranpsychoOfficer EckersleyDirect-to-video
2007Frankie DFrankie D
2008DarkroomCharles the Barkeep
2009See Dick RunATM
I Got Five on It TooJimmy
The Jerk TheoryWaiterUncredited[ citation needed ]
2010 Big Money Rustlas Scruffy Scrub #3
The Apparition of RoxanneOfficer Johnston
Do Me a SolidMauriceShort film
2011King of the UndergroundTodd
2012 That's My Boy HimselfCameo
Turning Point Marvin
2014Monsters on Main StreetLarry Goleman
2016Dependent's DayHank Wright
Precious MettleSam
The White SistasBishop Wilkins
Dead RingerDetective Billington
Bar ChroniclesThe CustomerInd. film
NightbladeDetective Francesco
Renaissance ManTodd
Hospital ArrestProsecutor Denuyl
2017The White SistasBishop Wilkins
2019A Psycho's PathHaywood

Television

YearTitleRoleNotes
1975 Barney Miller Truman JacksonEpisode: "The Hero"
The Orphan and the DudeLeonard BrownTV movie
Katherine Robert
1976 Police Story Little WalterEpisode: "Oxford Gray"
1977 Little House on the Prairie Solomon HenryEpisode: "The Wisdom of Solomon"
A Circle of ChildrenToddTV movie
Roots Bud HarveyTV Mini-Series
A Killing Affair Todd YorkTV movie
1977–1978 Fish LoomisMain role (35 episodes)
The Waltons Josh Foster2 episodes
1978 The Love Boat Michael Jr.Episode: "Mike and Ike"
1978–1986 Diff'rent Strokes Willis JacksonMain role (169 episodes)
1979 The Return of Mod Squad Jason HayesTV movie
Hello, Larry Willis Jackson3 episodes
1979-1980 CHiPs Todd Bridges2 episodes (uncredited)[ citation needed ]
1979-1981 The Facts of Life Willis Jackson2 episodes
1980-1981 Here's Boomer Turk/Benny
1981RosieWillis RovermanEpisode: "Failure, Failure, Failure"
1983 High School U.S.A. Otto LiptonTV movie
1988Twice DeadPetie
1991 The New Lassie Deputy KirbyEpisode: "Twin Pekes (Aka Justice)"
1992 The Ben Stiller Show Todd Bridges2 episodes
1997 L.A. Heat TrevorEpisode: "Cop Star"
2000 The Darkling BaronTV movie
2001 Son of the Beach Todd BridgesEpisode: "It's a Nude, Nude, Nude, Nude World"
2002 The Rerun Show T.J. Davis1 episode
The Young and the Restless Juice8 episodes
2003 Cram (Celebrity Edition)Himself1 episode
2003Ghost Dog: A Detective TailPower Plant GuardTV movie
2004 Jane Doe: Now You See It, Now You Don't The Man
2005 Alien Express Peter
2007–2009 Everybody Hates Chris Monk17 episodes
2008–2012 World's Dumbest Himself112 episodes
2011 Are We There Yet? HimselfEpisode: "The Lindsey Gets High Episode"
2014Hotel PBrycePilot
2016–2020Sangre NegraDante Lewis3 episodes
2021 Live in Front of a Studio Audience HimselfEpisode: "The Facts of Life/Diff'rent Strokes"
2022 Celebrity Big Brother Himself
2023 Celebrity Beef Himself

Video games

YearTitleVoice role
2014 Tesla Effect Mantus
2016 2064: Read Only Memories Hayden Webber
2019Take a SeatNarrator

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References

  1. "Todd Bridges Biography (1957–)". filmreference.com. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
  2. 1 2 "Todd Bridges | Official Publisher Page". Simon & Schuster . Retrieved August 16, 2022.
  3. "'Diff'rent Strokes': Todd Bridges is now the last living member of the core cast". USA Today . Retrieved August 2, 2020.
  4. "Celebrity Big Brother Season 3 Cast Revealed: Meet the New Famous Houseguests". January 26, 2022. Retrieved January 26, 2022.
  5. Kantor, Justin (October 9, 2012). "Interview: Penny Ford – The Power of Experience". Blogcritics . Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  6. Zap, Claudine (May 29, 2012). "'Diff'rent Strokes' Star Todd Bridges Divorcing". Yahoo! Entertainment. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
  7. "Diff'rent Strokes' Todd Bridges Would 'Like to Marry Again' as He's 'Moving on to Finding a Girlfriend'". Closer. April 16, 2022.
  8. Silverman, Stephen M. "Bridges's Latest Strokes". People . Retrieved October 29, 2017.
  9. Okura, Lynn (August 20, 2013). "Todd Bridges, 'Diff'rent Strokes' Star, Talks About Healing From Sexual Abuse". HuffPost . Retrieved October 29, 2017.
  10. "Todd Bridges Is Married! Inside the 'Diff'rent Strokes' Star's Beverly Hills Wedding". People.
  11. 1 2 Kappes, Serena (August 20, 2002). "Former child star Todd Bridges gets second shot". CNN . Retrieved January 18, 2020.
  12. 1 2 3 "Todd Bridges' Darkest Days". The Oprah Winfrey Show . Retrieved August 5, 2015.
  13. 1 2 3 "Actor Todd Bridges Arrested; Police Say Car Held Drugs, Gun". Los Angeles Times . December 30, 1992. Retrieved January 18, 2020.
  14. "Plus Entertainment". Archived from the original on 5 November 2012. Retrieved August 5, 2015 via HighBeam Research.
  15. McGraw, Carol. "Todd Bridges Found Not Guilty in Drug Shooting". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved January 18, 2020.
  16. Roberts, Soraya. "'Diff'rent Strokes' actor Todd Bridges discusses kicking drugs, wearing diapers and Corey Haim". New York Daily News . Retrieved January 18, 2020.
  17. Bridges, Todd; Tomlinson, Sarah (April 3, 2010). Killing Willis: From Diff'rent Strokes to the Mean Streets to the Life I Always Wanted . Simon & Schuster. ISBN   978-1439148983.