Actor Todd Bridges has seen and done it all. Todd has lived and worked amongst some of the most famous and influential individuals in the world. For over twenty-five years, he has victoriously survived a rapidly changing business. He experienced his second rise to fame, as "Juice" on "The Young and the Restless" (1973). Todd's career began and rocketed when he was only six years of age, forcing his family to relocate from a quiet, friendly neighborhood in San Francisco to the fast-paced stardom of Los Angeles, California in the early 70s. His mother, actress Betty A. Bridges, and father, the late James Bridges, Sr., came to Hollywood in search of the American dream. Betty went on to work quite a bit as an actress while James Sr. became one of the first prominent black Hollywood agents. Betty later became one of Hollywood's greatest managers and acting coaches, whose list of clients (soon to become stars) included her oldest child, Jimmy Bridges, her daughter Verda Bridges, Todd (of course), Nia Long ("The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" (1990), Love Jones (1997)), Regina King (Jerry Maguire (1996)), Lamont Bentley ("Moesha" (1996)), and Aaron Meeks ("Soul Food" (2000)).
It all began one day while watching Redd Foxx display his comic genius on "Sanford and Son" (1972). Todd, then six, realized his dream of becoming an actor. He exclaimed excitedly to his mother, "I want to do that", pointing to the television set. He had asked on his own to enter a business which, during that time, was very limited for black artists. Nevertheless, Todd went on to make some remarkable strides in the industry, pioneering the way for other young, black actors. His first job was a Jell-O commercial, which starred the entire Bridges family. He later accomplished over 60 national commercials. Todd was the first black child actor to become a recurring regular on the hit series, "The Waltons" (1971), and "Little House on the Prairie" (1974) with the late great Michael Landon. He went on to guest star on "Barney Miller" (1974), which eventually gained a spin-off show, starring Abe Vigoda. The spin-off was titled "Fish" (1977) and Todd became a series regular for four years. Norman Lear, who spearheaded the success of Tandem Productions, with such shows under his belt as "The Jeffersons" (1975), "Good Times" (1974), "All in the Family" (1971) and "The Facts of Life" (1979), sought to create a new type of show that would cross the racial boundaries set in Hollywood in the early years of television. He began with the new kid in town, Gary Coleman, and a TV veteran, Conrad Bain, from the hit show, "Maude" (1972). The wheels were spinning and "Diff'rent Strokes" (1978) was born. The show originated with a wealthy white businessman who adopted his housekeeper's black child after she passed away. There was only one problem. Who would the creators find to match wits with the sassy Gary Coleman? Conrad Bain then suggested the creation of an older brother character to keep up with "Arnold's" wisecracks, a strong young actor capable of bouncing the ball back in his court. No one portrayed such qualities as Todd Bridges.
"Diff'rent Strokes" (1978) was introduced to American audience in the fall of 1978. With the new concept of a racially-mixed cast, the producers and creators were unsure how the viewers would react. To their surprise, the show was a complete success and ran strong for eight years. Todd Bridges became an international celebrity and household name by the age of 15. During his success with "Diff'rent Strokes", Todd guest starred on such shows as "The Love Boat" (1977), "The Facts of Life" (1979), "Hello, Larry" (1979), Battle of the Network Stars VI (1979) (TV), Circus of the Stars #6 (1981) (TV), and many, many more. An even bigger opportunity came when he was chosen to portray the role of Chicken George's grandson in the historical television miniseries, "Roots" (1977), where his performance is still applauded to this day.
After "Diff'rent Strokes" ended its long run in 1986, things became difficult for Todd. All of a sudden, no one would hire him due to his being typecast as "Willis Drummond". He began to experience turbulent times, which would later lead to drug addiction and trouble with the authorities. There would be a pause in his career and his life for nearly ten years.
Todd Bridges has been clean and sober for nine years. He is a working actor, director, and producer and is well on his way to the rebirth of a promising television and motion picture career. Together, Todd and his brother, James Jr., have partnered to establish their own production company, "Little Bridge Productions".
His recent film credits (as an actor) include _1210 Camille Street_ with Faizon Love (Friday (1995), The Replacements (2000)), Frat (), _Hollywood Horror (2000)_ with Tia Mowry-Hardrict and 'Tamara Mowry' (_"Sister Sister" (1994)_) and A Testimony. He also recently completed a feature film in Utah called The Climb (2002) for Billy Graham's production company. He directed, produced and starred in the short film about his life, Building Bridges (2000), for TBN. He also directed, along with his brother, a full-length feature film titled Black Ball (2003) (aka Full Circle), starring Lisa Sweat (wife of R&B singer Keith Sweat), Stoney Jackson, De'aundre Bonds, his wife Dori Bridges, and a host of other great names. His directorial credits also include the feature film, Flossin (2001), the life story of his pastor and childhood friend, Pastor Ernest Johnson. On a more personal note, Todd is a proud husband and father. He has been married, since 1998, to his wife, Dori Bridges, and they have one son, Spencir Bridges. Todd has traveled the nation speaking to over 6,000 kids per day in high schools, middle schools, and churches warning about the dangers of drug use, negative peer pressure, and proclaiming Christ Jesus!
|Dori Bridges||(25 May 1998 - present) (filed for divorce) 1 child|
Arrested after alledgedly ramming an associate's car with his own after an argument. [19 January 1997]
Son of Betty A. Bridges
Ex-brother-in-law of Barbara Bridges.
Rescues woman whose wheelchair tipped over while fishing. [13 April 2001]
Was a contestant on "The Weakest Link" (2001/III). His second question was to name the man that married Courteney Cox. As a joke for not knowing the answer, Bridges guessed Gary Coleman. As a result, he was voted the very first weakest link.
Ranked #40 in VH1's list of the "100 Greatest Kid Stars"
Has a daughter named Bo J Rushing.
The best advice I've ever received or given, in or out of the entertainment business, is as follows: "Stick with God."
(March 2002) Fought and won against former rapper, Vanilla Ice, in a celebrity boxing match on FOX-TV.
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