Not to Sound Condescending, But I’m Really Proud of Todd Bridges

Last night my wife and I were talking about the episode of Growing Pains that featured Dana Plato.  It was one where she was pressuring Mike (Kirk Cameron) to “do it” with her.   We then looked her up and read about her tragic downfall to eventually drug/suicide death.  We also remarked on Gary Coleman’s death.   My wife than asked me about Willis and I said, “you mean Todd Bridges?”  While I knew that Bridges was alive I hadn’t researched him in quite some time.    My only recollection of him is a hilarious cameo he did in That’s My Boy with Vanilla Ice.

But upon further reading you really have to hand it to a guy like Bridges.  This is an actor who went from child star to complete drug addict and was virtually written off, to someone that now seems to have his life completely together, still acts on a regular basis, and writes as well.

In his 20s, Bridges battled a crack cocaine addiction for several years. In 1988, he was arrested and tried for the attempted murder of Kenneth “Tex” Clay, a Los Angeles area drug dealer who, prosecutors argued, had been shot by Bridges.  Bridges pleaded not guilty to the charges and was represented by the high-profile defense attorney Johnnie Cochran. Cochran successfully portrayed Bridges as an abused minor who had been driven to drugs by an exploitative entertainment industry, and was now being unfairly framed. A witness finally testified that Bridges was not present at the time of the shooting. Bridges was acquitted of all charges by a jury.

Fast forward to 1998 and you probably never knew about this story.

In 1998, Todd Bridges and his brother James Bridges were credited with saving the life of a 51-year-old paraplegic woman, Stella Kline. The woman nearly drowned when her wheelchair rolled into a lake while she was fishing. Quoting Kline, “I was thanking God that he was there, and you know, everybody’s been saying nothing but bad stuff about Todd Bridges on the news and in the papers… He has a heart of gold.” Todd Bridges remarked on the rescue, “We felt God put us there at the right time to save this lady’s life, because there was no one else around.”

Now?  Now Bridges is 51 years old and has already worked on four movies in the last year.  Like I said in my title, I don’t want to sound condescending but I’m pretty proud of Todd Bridges.

P.S. I had to post his That’s my Boy scene.

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