Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Whatever happened to the rest of the "Diff'rent Strokes" cast?, part one

Gary Coleman’s death last week got us thinking about the rest of the cast of “Diff’rent Strokes.” We all know the two highest-profile tales: Dana Plato was arrested for robbing a video store, then died in 1999 at age 34 of a prescription drug overdose. Todd Bridges rode a roller coaster of drug abuse and trouble with the law, but then got sober and wrote a book called “Killing Willis.” (He also beat Vanilla Ice in a celebrity boxing match, which wins him several points in our book.)

But what about the rest of the “Diff’rent Strokes” cast? Here’s a quick rundown: Conrad Bain is now 87 and retired; one of his final acting gigs was reprising the role of Mr. Drummond on a 1996 episode of “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” Charlotte Rae found even bigger fame when she moved over to “The Facts of Life,” of course. She’s still acting, and guest-starred in a recurring role on “ER.” After Mrs. Garrett moved to Eastland, housekeeper Adelaide took over; spunky actress Nedra Volz passed away in 2003. Pearl, played by Mary Jo Catlett, took care of the Drummond kids next; Catlett went on to entertain a whole new generation of TV viewers as the voice of Mrs. Poppy Puff on “SpongeBob,” and showed up in a brief role on “Glee” just a few weeks ago.

Tomorrow: Some more "Diff'rent Strokes" cast, including Dudley!

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