Who is Todd Bridges?

Todd Bridges is an American actor, who is perhaps still best known for starring in the role of Willis Jackson in the TV sitcom “Diff’rent Strokes” in the 1970s and ‘80s. Additionally, he is widely recognized for memorable appearances in TV series such as “Fish” and “Everybody Hates Chris” as well as in movies including “Frankie D” (2007), “The Jerk Theory” (2009) and “That’s My Boy” (2012).

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Early Life

Todd Anthony Bridges was born under the zodiac sign of Gemini on the 27th May 1965, in San Francisco, California, to talent agent James Bridges Sr. and actress and director Betty Alice Pryor.

He has two older siblings, a brother Jimmy Bridges and a sister Verda Bridges, who are both actors as well.

Acting Career

Todd’s interest in acting appeared at his age of six, when he was an avid watcher of the “Sanford and Son” TV series. His acting career began two years later, when in 1973 at the age of only eight, he made an on-screen debut in an episode of “The Young and the Restless” TV series. In the course of the next couple of years, he honed his skills through a streak of small screen appearances in TV series “Police Story” and “Little House of the Prairie”, as well as in the Primetime Emmy-nominated TV movies such as “Katherine”, “A Circle of Children” and “A Killing Affair”.

To greater prominence young Todd Bridges came in 1977, when he was cast for the recurring role of Loomis in the ABC TV’s series “Fish”.

The real breakthrough in Todd’s acting career occurred in 1978 at just 13 years of age, when he landed one of the main roles in the TV sitcom series “Diff’rent Strokes”. As Willis Jackson he starred in over 170 episodes of the show, through its eight seasons-long run, before it was called-off in 1986. For his performance, Bridges was honored with two nominations for the Young Artist Award in 1983 and 1984, as well as with two nominations for the TV Land Award. Additionally, the sitcom produced a popular catchphrase ‘What’chu talkin’ ’bout, Willis?’, often spoken by his co-star Gary Coleman.

Happy 50th Birthday to Diff'rent Strokes actor Todd Bridges! #BirthdayShoutout

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During the late 1970s, he made several notable guest-star appearances in TV series such as “Hello, Larry”, “CHiPs” and “The Facts of Life”. In 1988 he appeared in the horror thriller movie “Twice Dead”, which was followed by the comedy film “She’s Out of Control” in 1989. After appearing in the 1992 critically booed drama movie “The Sounds of Silence”, Bridges was cast for the main role in the action film “Homeboys”. In 1996 he starred in the TV drama movie “Circle of Pain”, while in 1997 he appeared in movies “The Girl Gets Moe” and “Hoover Park”. By the end of the 1990s, he had also appeared in action drama movies “The Waterfront” and “Flat Out”, as well as in the biographical drama film about himself and his own ‘rise, fall and rise‘ entitled “Building Bridges”.

In the early 2000s, Todd Bridges added several big screen appearances to his professional portfolio, including leading roles in “Wrong Way to Sundance”, “The Climb”, “Baby of the Family” and “Land of the Free?”, as well as his directorial debut – the 2001 drama movie “Flossin”. In 2006 he starred in the action movie “Last Call” after which he was cast for the title role in the drama film “Frankie D”, for which he was rewarded with the Best Actor accolade at the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival in 2008.

Between 2007 and 2009 he portrayed the recurring role of Monk in the Golden Globe-nominated sitcom series “Everybody Hates Chris”.

Todd Bridges

He then appeared in a streak of supporting roles in movies such as “The Apparition of Roxanne”, “King of the Underground” and “That’s My Boy”. In 2012 he appeared in the drama movie “Turning Point”, while in 2014 Todd starred in the comedy horror film “College Fright Night”. In 2016 he guest appeared in “Dependent’s Day”, after which he appeared in movies “Chasing Gold” and “Nightblade”.

Between 2016 and 2020 Bridges occasionally appeared in the role of Dante Lewis in the TV drama series “Sangre Negra”, while some of his most recent on-screen appearances include movies such as “Justice on Trial: The Movie 20/20” and “I Got Five on it 3”.

In addition to his acting career, Todd Bridges has also appeared in several music videos including Moby’s “We Are All Made of Stars” and The Black Keys’ “Howlin’ for You”. In 2008 he was a contestant in the TV reality show “Hulk Hogan’s Celebrity Championship Wrestling” – as a member of the Team Beefcake, he wrestled under the moniker ‘Mr. Not So Perfect’, and made it to the finals where he was beaten by basketballer Dennis Rodman.

Personal Life

When it comes to his private life, between 1989 and 1991 Todd was married to Rebbeca, while since May 1998 he has been married to Dori Bridges with whom he’s welcomed a son named Spencir.

From one of his previous relationships, he also has a daughter named Bo J. Rushing.

At the age of 15, Todd began smoking marijuana, and over the years developed a crack and methamphetamine addiction. In order to support these habits, during his 20s he began dealing drugs, and was eventually imprisoned for cocaine possession and felony assault. In 1989 he was detained for alleged attempted murder, but was found not guilty. In late 1992 he was arrested for possession of a loaded firearm and for transporting narcotics, after the Burbank Police Department found a gun and methamphetamines in his car. Eventually he was released on a $10,000 bail.

In 2008, Todd Bridges published a book entitled “Killing Willis: From Diff’rent Strokes to the Mean Streets to the Life I Always Wanted” – his memoirs in which he wrote about his childhood, criminal actions and drug addiction, as well as an attempt to distance himself from his character of Willis Jackson.

Net Worth

Speaking of Todd Bridges’ wealth as of mid-2020, authoritative sources have estimated that his net worth revolves around the sum of $250,000 which has been acquired through his acting career since 1973. No doubt it would be somewhat higher, except for his brushes with the law.

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