Todd Bridges Now: The Life of Willis from 'Diff'rent Strokes' More than 35 Years after the Show Ended
Todd Bridges, best known as Willis Jackson in the '70s sitcom "Diff'rent Strokes," has thrived quietly in Hollywood. It's been more than 35 years since the show ended, and he has been a busy man.
Todd Bridges, who started acting at the age of six, was one of the brightest stars in the entertainment industry. He was known as Juice in the 1970 series "The Young and The Restless."
But the actor had his most significant breakthrough in the 1978 series "Diff'rent Strokes," and he is now the only surviving star from that show. He has been keeping a low profile since the show ended more than 35 years ago.
But Todd can't stay out of the limelight as show business runs through his veins. His mother, Betty Bridges, was an actress who became a renowned director and writer.
She became an outstanding manager and acting coach to several celebrities, including Regina King and Nia Long. Todd, as well as his siblings Jimmy and Verda, were trained under her wing.
Their late father, James Bridges Sr., had the same popularity as their mother. James was one of the first prominent black agents in Hollywood.
While staying away from the limelight, Todd, who split from his ex-wife, Dori, in 2012, keeps up with his interests. He maintains an active lifestyle, including fishing and playing baseball with friends.
After his release in 1990, Todd became a drug dealer for six years, causing him to return to prison.
Aside from hanging out with his friends, the San Francisco, California native also loves to stay indoors and play with his furry friends - his adorable dog Yoko and black cat Mojo.
The Little Bridge Productions founder seemed to have a close connection with his charming cat. "Mojo has grown into a very big sweet and fun cat," he once wrote on Twitter.
The 57-year-old actor also made a lighthearted post about Mojo after he woke up one morning. His feline had positioned himself on Todd's lower body, hoping to stare him awake. "I wake up to Mojo laying right there," he wrote with several laughing emojis.
For Todd, spending time with friends, family, and pets has been essential to his life. He wants to experience life to the fullest extent possible.
Todd Bridges is the only actor still alive among the stars of "Diff'rent Strokes." On August 5, 2018, Charlotte Rae, who played Edna Garrett on "Diff'rent Strokes," was reported dead, and it was a challenging period for the former child actor. He said:
"I had a hard time last night when I learned about Charlotte. When I hung up the phone, I just broke down. I'm the only one left. That's hard to deal with. It's really sad and emotional. I had one piece left from that show. Now I'm the only castmember left."
He paid sweet tributes to his late co-stars Dana Plato and Gary Coleman. Plato passed away due to a drug overdose in 1999 at 34, while Coleman, who was 42, died after suffering an epidural hematoma.
Before their deaths, they had their fair share of struggles growing up as child stars. Plato had issues with substance abuse and alcohol; Coleman dealt with personal and financial woes.
Like his late co-stars, Todd is no stranger to problems. He revealed he experienced racism at a young age, saying it was the most challenging part of growing up.
Besides racism, he reportedly faced sexual abuse and became a troubled actor. In his 20s, he struggled with drug addiction and got jailed in 1989 for his murder attempt on a Los Angeles drug dealer.
After his release in 1990, Todd became a drug dealer for six years, which landed him in prison again. A court judge, who was a former drug addict, jailed him for 90 days.
The judge hoped that the "Little House on the Prairie" actor would become clean, which the latter eventually realized after a long time. Todd has been sober for more than 25 years.
From a tumultuous past, the actor has started a new life. He is currently enjoying his work behind the camera as a producer. "Producing is a lot more fun than acting," he happily wrote on Instagram.
On September 21, 2022, Todd married for the second time. He married Bettijo Hirschi in an intimate wedding at Greystone Mansion & Gardens with less than 100 guests nine months after they met on a dating app.
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