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Diff'rent Strokes ()


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The misadventures of a wealthy Manhattan family who adopted the children of their late African American housekeeper from Harlem.

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Series Cast Summary

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  Philip Drummond (181 episodes, 1978-1986)
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  Arnold Jackson (179 episodes, 1978-1986)
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  Willis Jackson (169 episodes, 1978-1986)
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  Kimberly Drummond / ... (140 episodes, 1978-1986)
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  Pearl Gallagher (67 episodes, 1982-1986)
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  Sam McKinney (48 episodes, 1984-1986)
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  Dudley Ramsey / ... (43 episodes, 1980-1986)
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  Edna Garrett (37 episodes, 1978-1984)
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  Maggie McKinney (27 episodes, 1984-1985)
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  Robbie Jason (22 episodes, 1980-1985)
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  Adelaide Brubaker (22 episodes, 1980-1984)
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  Lisa Hayes (14 episodes, 1982-1986)
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  Maggie McKinney Drummond / ... (13 episodes, 1980-1986)
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  Charlene DuPrey (10 episodes, 1980-1984)
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  Charlie (9 episodes, 1985-1986)
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  Miss Chung / ... (8 episodes, 1981-1983)
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  Aunt Sophia Drummond (8 episodes, 1981-1984)
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  The Waiter / ... (7 episodes, 1979-1984)
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  Tom Bishop / ... (6 episodes, 1979-1984)
Robin LaValley ...
  Mrs. Anson / ... (6 episodes, 1981-1986)
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  Ted Ramsey (6 episodes, 1980-1984)
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  Dorothy 'Tootie' Ramsey (5 episodes, 1979-1981)
Erik Moses ...
  Oscar / ... (6 episodes, 1979-1982)
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  Ricky (5 episodes, 1985-1986)
John Starr ...
  The Mailman / ... (4 episodes, 1979-1981)
Anthony Thompkins ...
  Vernon (4 episodes, 1979-1980)
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  Charles Sutton / ... (4 episodes, 1978-1985)
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  Kathy Gordon (4 episodes, 1981-1984)
Tony Williams ...
  Charles / ... (4 episodes, 1979-1981)
Verda Bridges ...
  Mary / ... (4 episodes, 1981-1985)
Steve Brady ...
  Guard / ... (4 episodes, 1984-1985)
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  Larry Alder (3 episodes, 1979)
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  Ruthie Alder (3 episodes, 1979)
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  Morgan Winslow (3 episodes, 1979)
Brian Whitley ...
  Art / ... (3 episodes, 1981-1982)
Brad Trumbull ...
  Detective Simpson (3 episodes, 1981-1983)
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  Mr. Payton / ... (3 episodes, 1979-1980)
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  Jennifer / ... (3 episodes, 1984-1986)
Elaine Appleton ...
  Lillian / ... (3 episodes, 1979-1980)
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  Michelle (3 episodes, 1981-1984)
Joan Welles ...
  Dorothy Gordon (3 episodes, 1981-1983)
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  Doctor / ... (3 episodes, 1981-1983)
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  Diane Alder (2 episodes, 1979)
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  Mr. Horton (2 episodes, 1983)
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  Detective Morison / ... (2 episodes, 1979-1980)
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  Fred Tanner (2 episodes, 1979)
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  Jethro Simpson (2 episodes, 1979)
George Pentecost ...
  E.G. Stilson / ... (2 episodes, 1980-1984)
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  Carl / ... (2 episodes, 1981)
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  Eddie (2 episodes, 1982)

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Special Effects

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Storyline

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Plot Summary

Phillip Drummond, a widowed Manhattan millionaire and president of the mega-firm Trans Allied Inc., adopts two African American orphans 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 away; 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 no-nonsense 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 series 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

Plot Keywords
Taglines Can the funniest, most opinionated nine year old south of Harlem find happiness as the adopted son of a suave, lily-white Park Avenue millionaire? (season 1) See more »
Genres
Parents Guide View content advisory »
Certification

Additional Details

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Also Known As
  • 45 Minutes from Harlem (United States)
  • Arnold et Willy (France)
  • Noch Fragen Arnold? (Germany)
  • Arnold (Spain)
  • Arnold (Brazil)
  • See more »
Runtime
  • 30 min
Country
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Filming Locations

Did You Know?

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Trivia Alan Thicke, who played the father on Growing Pains (1985), sings the theme song. See more »
Movie Connections Edited into Tupac: Resurrection (2003). See more »
Soundtracks Diff'rent Strokes See more »
Quotes [repeated line]
Arnold Jackson: Watchoo talkin' 'bout?
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