Todd Bridges

Todd Bridges


5/27/1965, San Francisco, California

Birth Name


  • Todd Bridges (L) and Gary Coleman flank ...
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Todd Bridges was born on May 27, 1965, in San Francisco, California. He began acting at the age of 10 in multiple TV series but in 1977, he landed a recurring role as Josh Foster on The Waltons. In 1978, he began playing Willis Jackson on Diff'rent Strokes…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Todd appeared in the 1984 TV movie High School, USA with Diff'rent Strokes co-star, Dana Plato. However, they did not have any scenes together in the movie.

    • Todd has two children; son Spencer and daughter Bo.

    • Todd was a customer in a diner on an episode of VH1's reality show The Surreal Life, in which Gary Coleman was acting manager that evening. He watched in shock, as Gary stormed off the set, and off the job, because Vanilla Ice was badgering him to say his famous tag-line 'What you talkin 'bout, willis?'

    • Todd appeared in a cameo role on the David Spade hit comedy Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star as himself, in September of 2003.

    • Todd was confided in Dr. Drew Pinsky, addiction specialist, that he hallucinated little green men coming up from the floorboards of his home. He began tearing up the floor of his home for what he thought was a factory that his grandmother had out under the house to produce the little green men to get him. Paranoia drove him to get a gun and fire at the virtual hallucinations.

    • Todd was a contestant on the celebrity edition of the gameshow The Weakest link. His second question was to name Courtney Cox's husband. He didn't know the answer, so he jokingly said it was Gary Coleman, and was voted off first.

    • Todd and his brother James directed a full-length film titled Full Circle, starring Lisa Sweat (wife of R&B singer Keith Sweat), his wife Dori Smith, and Stoney Jackson. Todd also directed, produced, and starred in the short movie about his life, titled Building Bridges in 1999.

    • Todd directed a feature film titled Flossin in 2001, based on the life story of his Pastor and childhood friend, Pastor Ernest Johnson.

    • Todd appeared in a feature film in Utah called The Climb in 2002, for Billy Graham's production company.

    • Todd rescued a woman who fell from her wheelchair while fishing, in 2001.

    • Todd has traveled the United States speaking to over 6,000 kids each day in schools and churches, discussing the dangers of drug use, negative peer pressure, and promoting his religious beliefs.

    • Todd married Dori Smith on May 25th, 1998, and the couple welcomed their son, Spencer Todd Bridges on July 15th, 1998.

    • Todd showed off his boxing moves in a match with rapper Vanilla Ice on the Fox reality special Celebrity Boxing, in 2002. Todd soundly defeated his opponent.

    • Todd and his brother James Jr., have paired up to establish their own production company called Little Bridge Productions.

    • Todd has been sober for over ten years now, and is a working actor, director, producer, ice skater, and motivational speaker.

    • Todd fell on turbulent times after 1986, and was arrested numerous times: pleaded 'no contest' in 1986 to making a bomb threat against an auto detailer, arrested in 1988 for reckless driving, arrested in 1989 for skipping out on a $500 auot repair bill, arrested in 1989 for shooting at a man at a Los Angeles crack house, arrested in 1990 for suspicion of cocaine possession (no charges filed), arrested in 1993 for stabbing a boarder in his home (no charges filed),and arrested in 1997 for ramming a friend's car with his car.

    • Todd is ranked #40 in VH1's list of '100 Greatest Kid Stars'.

    • Todd struggled after Diff'rent Strokes ended it's long run in 1986, he was typecast as 'Willis Drummond' and no one would hire him.

    • Todd was ecstatic when he was cast as Chicken George's grandson in the historical epic television miniseries Roots, in 1977.

    • Todd became an international celebrity at age 15, after landing his role on Norman Lear's Diff'rent Strokes in 1978. His new popularity gained him appearances on The Love Boat, Facts of Life, and Hello Larry.

    • Todd was the first black child actor to become a reoccuring regular on the hit television series The Waltons and Little House on the Prairie. He also guest starred on Barney Miller, which led to the spin-off starring Abe Vigoda titled Fish in 1977. Todd was a series regular for four years.

    • Todd decided that he wanted to become an actor at age six, when he was watching Red Foxx on Sanford and Son. His first job was a Jell-O commercial, starring the entire Bridges family.

    • Todd's family moved from San Francisco to Los Angeles, California in search of stardom in the early 1970s, when he was six years old. His parents, Betty & James Bridges were both involved in the entertainment industry. Betty worked as an actress for awhile, and James went on to become one of Hollywood's first successful black agents. Betty later switched to an acting coach and manager to such talent as: Nia Long, Regina King, Aaron Meeks, as well as her own children.

  • Quotes

    • Todd Bridges: I really believe it's not the business that makes the kid have problems. If you look at the percentage of the kids who have problems in the business, it's not a lot. And I feel if they have strong parents and strong relationships within their families, they'll be fine.

  • Todd Bridges in my mind is still one of the true natural talents of Televison. He is such a terrific inidividual who has turned out alright. Everybody in Buffalo, NY loves Todd Bridges.moreless

    Todd Bridges is best known for his work on the hit televison show \"Different Strokes\". In my mind he is still a very big name and is still in his prime. The way he worked with Gary Coleman and company on Differen Strokes was immeasurable and quite flawless at times. He is still one of my favorite chilhood stars and one of true consummate professionals. I would love to meet him one day or even get a chance to work with this terrific individual. Todd, thanks for the memories and making prime television worth watching. Whatever Todd decides to do in the future, I know he will awesome at it.moreless