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Diff'rent Strokes (TV Series 1978–1986) - Plot Summary Poster

(1978–1986)

Plot Summary

  • 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, Charlene; cast members from "The Facts of Life"; and Drummond's sister, Sophia, were frequently seen. In early 1984, Drummond found true love, marrying fitness instructor Maggie McKinney; she had a 6-year-old son, Sam. While most shows revolved around the typical lessons of growing up, some were quite serious (including a frightening encounter with a child molester and a memorable episode dealing with drug abuse guest starring First Lady Nancy Reagan).

    - Written by Brian Rathjen <briguy_52732@yahoo.com>
  • The series about two African American orphans from Harlem who moved to Manhattan to live with a wealthy white widower and his precocious teenage daughter after their mother, their former housekeeper, passed away. Along with their no-nonsense housekeeper, this group was anything but average - but they reflected the changing face of the American family and brought issues of race and class into households across the nation.

    - Written by Anonymous
  • The misadventures of a wealthy Manhattan family who adopted the children of their late African American housekeeper from Harlem.

    - Written by Kenneth Chisholm

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