The misadventures of a wealthy Manhattan family who adopted the children of their late African American housekeeper from Harlem.
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2 wins & 31 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
...
 Philip Drummond / ... (181 episodes, 1978-1986)
...
 Arnold Jackson (179 episodes, 1978-1986)
...
 Willis Jackson (169 episodes, 1978-1986)
...
 Kimberly Drummond (140 episodes, 1978-1986)
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Storyline

Phillip Drummond, a widowed Manhattan millionaire and president of the mega-firm Trans Allied Inc., adopts two orphaned black brothers from Harlem, 8-year-old Arnold and 12-year-old Willis. Drummond had made a promise to their dying mother, his housekeeper that he would care for the boys after she passes on; their father had died years earlier. The boys, whom Drummond always introduced as his two sons, went from rags to riches literally overnight. At first, Willis was rather skeptical of their newfound wealth, but eventually, both he and Arnold felt right at home in their newfound surroundings. Also part of the family were Drummond's beautiful daughter, 13-year-old Kimberly; and his current housekeeper, Edna Garrett. As the years passed, Mrs. Garrett left to become housemother at the Eastland School for Girls; she was replaced by the cantankerous Adelaide Brubaker and still later, charming Pearl Gallagher. Arnold's friends, Dudley and Robbie (and later, Charlie); Willis' girlfriend, ... Written by Brian Rathjen <briguy_52732@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Family

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

3 November 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

45 Minutes from Harlem  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (189 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Staff writer Fred Rubin composed a funky instrumental piece he offered as the theme song, but by the time he offered it, the more famous theme heard today had already been chosen. See more »

Quotes

Philip Drummond: Good morning, Arnold. Rise and shine!
Arnold Jackson: Better not let Willis hear you say the word "shine". Back in Harlem, that's fightin' talk.
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Connections

Referenced in The Hangover (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Diff'rent Strokes
(Theme Song)
Written by Alan Thicke, Al Burton and Gloria Loring
Performed by Alan Thicke
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Tender sitcom shadowed by a macabre reality.
22 June 2009 | by (Noctropolis) – See all my reviews

Who would think that the main characters from a naive, tender, family show would end up meeting such fatal fates? Well, that's another story.

"Diff'rent Strokes" is an important sticom in American pop culture and also paved the way for comedy shows with a social message inserted.

Here, the inter racial situations mixed with poverty and social clichés were the spinal cord for the plot and even in jokes. Everything was extremely well done and executed with class. Nothing was vulgar or tried directly to impose a criteria; the situations were just put for the audience to judge it whatsoever they wanted.

The jokes were sometimes naive but always witty. The humor was family oriented but after nearly 30 years, none of them is boring. Sure, society has changed a lot but some things just can't disappear.

The acting is top notch. Gary Coleman is now some sort of cult hero for displaying a physical illness and being part of a social minority but his comedic skills and histrionic abilities make him one of the most likable child stars ever. Conrad Bain was excellent as the protective, tender but strong man that took care about his house. Dana Plato was extremely sexy, hot; she's the kind of girl I wanted to marry.

Anyways, watch this sitcom in order to witness part of America's pop culture talking about television. This show will teach you many things and as a plus, it will make you chuckle most of the time.


3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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