Friday, May 28, 2010

The tragic fates of "Arnold", "Willis" and "Kimberly"

Despite the huge success of the series American Black & White (Diff'rent Strokes) in the late '70s and early '80s, the protagonists seem to suffer more than enjoying the time. The luck did not accompany Dana Plato, who died in 1999, or Todd Bridges, addicted to drugs and alcohol. Now, with the death of Gary Coleman, seems to close the tragic circle accompanied for more than two decades.

In the late '70s, the series starring three young, who embodied the children of a millionaire who lived New York, rose to fame for having as topic the integration of blacks and whites in the same family.

But the boys, with their angelic faces, were far from living a life as idyllic as in the television series. Dana Plato, who played Kimberly, the biological daughter of Mr. Drummond, had to leave the series after six seasons of success, to get pregnant.

In 1991 he was arrested for robbing a video store in Las Vegas and a year later was convicted of falsifying a prescription for a thousand doses of Valium. Despite having received a month in jail and five other parole, Justice took the custody of his son.

When leaving the series in 1984, landed unsuccessfully for Playboy magazine and away from returning to the small screen was devoted to making pornographic films. The redhead died in May 1999 from an overdose of drugs in the trailer where he lived for 34 years.

For its part Todd Bridges, Willis in the series, the older brother of Arnold and Drummond adoptive family, confessed that he began taking drugs at an early age and with their effects recorded episodes.

"I was only 12 years and my agent was abusing me, but my father stood beside him," Bridges told in an interview with Fox News, where he also acknowledged that his life fell apart at the end of the series.

Also with drug and alcohol problems, Bridges was convicted of illegal possession of weapons and for having stabbed a tenant. In 1989 he was tried and acquitted for attempted murder.

At one point, Willis decided to end his addiction. "One day I woke up and said this must change," he said. At that time, facing a trial for drug possession and the judge gave him to choose between prison or rehabilitation.

Meanwhile, Gary Coleman, who played the youngest of the adopted children, Arnold, went from being the prominent cheeks nice boy to a man with violent characteristics, also addicted to alcohol and drugs.

Suffering from kidney dysfunction that prevented him from growing, the actor's first controversial decision was to break ties with his adoptive parents and to sue for having stolen money from your bank account.

Away from television, in late 1998 a picture of him in his new work swept the world: he was responsible for supervision of a Shopping Center in California. Then hit a fan who asked for an autograph, so you got a sentence of 90 days in jail. He was also accused of beating his wife, and in recent months was seen insulting a television in a live program.

However, not all the protagonists of the series ran the same fate. Ironically, the eldest, who played the father of these three angels, was still working after the hit TV show.

Conrad Stafford Bain not only worked with Woody Allen in Bananas film, but also continued to perform roles in other movies and series, including with his twin brother Bonar, who is also an actor. With its 87 years, Bain lives with his wife Monica Sloan, who has been married since 1945 and had three children.

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