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Todd Bridges:  His Book on Killing Willis
By: Ehimwenma E. Aimiuwu
March 17, 2010



I watched with admiration the interview of Todd Bridges on Larry King Live on CNN a couple of days ago.  Todd Bridges, who played Willis on the sitcom “Diff’rent Strokes”, said that he has been clean from drugs for 17 years, was physically abused by his father, sexually abused by his publicist, and was introduced to drugs by another child star in the sitcom.   

As a young child growing up in Nigeria, Todd was one of the few Black boy stars we saw on TV and could relate to in popular culture.  We talked about his Afro, his good looks, and his wonderful smile.  Todd, along with Gary Coleman, was so cool that Diff’rent Strokes became one of our favorite TV shows in the early 1980s.  It broke our hearts to hear and read about his drug addiction in those days.  Like he said in the interview, he did go from child idol to become a tabloid joke.  In fact, Todd became a justification of why children, especially Blacks, with ambition for success should not be taken seriously or restricted until they are much older. 

It is good to know that Todd overcame drugs, but it will be sweeter for all who love and admire him to see him become a mega TV or movie star again.  He should make it his goal to return to prominence on the screen.  I believe that he can do this and I would love to see it happen.


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