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Killing Willis: From Diff'rent Strokes to the Mean Streets to the Life I Always Wanted [Hardcover]

Todd Bridges , Sarah Tomlinson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 275 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone Books (16 Mar 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439148988
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439148983
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 16.5 x 23.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,341,058 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An incredible story of Todd Bridges 7 April 2010
Format:Hardcover
In promoting this book, Todd Bridges in his interview with 'Today' show co-host Meredith Vieira on NBC on March 15, 2010, and later with Joy Behar on her show on CNN, spoke openly and honestly about his ordeal of physical, sexual and emotional abuse he faced from the very people who were responsible for his best interest and safety. He has lived through the most difficult days of abuse, the harassment from police; intense racism in Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) in 1980s and 1990s, addiction to controlled substances, life on the mean streets of South Central Los Angeles, repeated criminal charges including a murder charge, and bad publicity surrounding Diff'rent Strokes other actors, Gary Coleman and Dana Plato. Incidentally Dana died tragically at a very young age due to drug addiction and drug overdose on May 8, 1999. It is absolutely overwhelming for any man let alone a kid to face this trauma, yet Todd proves that you need to fight your way out, never relent to momentary setbacks, and you can still emerge as a reformed positive role model for kids who face similar challenges. He has turned his life around by becoming an author, a family man, a responsible father, working actor, director and a producer. This is absolutely incredible saga of an individual who had everything to the very lowest point in life. This is especially hard for fans who watched Diff'rent Strokes on TV regularly during 1970s and 80s.

The middle pages are especially hard to read as Todd Bridges describes in great detail his unfortunate addiction to various controlled substances and then becoming a drug trafficker himself living on the most dangerous streets of South Central LA, and dealing with worst offenders.
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5.0 out of 5 stars AN Excellent read 19 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Really interesting and honest book
It showed a totally different side to todd bridges but he was able to turn it around.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Could not put the book down for one minute! 11 April 2013
By Lior Y
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a child I was obsessed with Different Strokes and obviously in love with big brother Willis. it was only recently that ive found out that Todd had a book out telling his life story.. and let me tell you - it is ONE heck of a story! From the minute I opened the book I literally could not put it down!! I had to keep reading as I just couldnt wait to see what happens next! allthough Todd's story by no means easy, it is highly intriguing and interesting and at time absolutely shocking!
I enjoyed every minute of it and was almost disappointed that it only had 200 pages and not more..
I highly recommend it
amazing and inspiring
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5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting 5 April 2012
By monica
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A very interesting read. If your wondering whats been happening to Todd Bridges order the book and find out for yourself as hes had a crazy life but it also goes to show that you can turn your life around and become a better person!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Andre Lawrence TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
* Pre-review thoughts
** Brief overview
*** What can we take from his life story? /Conclusion

*I'm offering a qualified 5-star review for what this book is saying, because with the exception of a few annoying moments of self-pity and by extension his inability to see where his actions affected his (and other's) situation, this is an incredibly honest, engaging and wholly revealing statement about ambition, celebrity, the excesses [read: vanity] of celebrity, the fall from grace and personal redemption.

And, just to be sure, I'd take blunt honesty over pretense any day.

** Todd Bridges, the elder brother on "Diff'rent Strokes" television show has written a fascinating piece of biography that is nothing short of a page-turner. His diction and recollection of growing up with a proud, ambitious (and in the end, heroic) mother, sister and brother against what most would say is the father-from-hell to the heights of television stardom is nothing short of inspiring.

After a brief look at the lowest point of his personal life when the cops are standing over him with a gun pressed to the back of his head and he's about to reach in a hidden compartment for his gun, we're quickly treated to life starting out in San Francisco in a home where the father would come home from work reeking from the stench of alcohol and cigarettes. Soon after, he (as a young boy) wonders why doesn't his daddy come home happy to see his family or kisses his wife hello when his mother decides to follow a long held dream of becoming an actress. Todd and his sibling's fortunes were about to change.

His mother goes to school and learns her craft. She in turn teaches those very lessons to her children. Todd, however, is the only one to excel in the field.
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