Diff'rent Strokes

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Diff'rent Strokes
Title screen
Created byJeff Harris
Bernie Kukoff
Written byBen Starr
Budd Grossman
Howard Leeds
Martin Cohan
Directed byHerbert Kenwith
(season 1)
Gerren Keith
Mel Ferber
Tony Singletary
StarringConrad Bain
Gary Coleman
Todd Bridges
Dana Plato
Charlotte Rae
Mary Jo Catlett
Danny Cooksey
Dixie Carter
Mary Ann Mobley
Nedra Volz
Theme music composerAlan Thicke
Al Burton
Gloria Loring
Opening theme"It Takes Diff'rent Strokes" (pilot);
"The Facts of Life" by Linda Lavin;
"Learning the Facts of Life" by Telma Hopkins
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons8
No. of episodes189 (list of episodes)
Executive producersBudd Grossman
(season 1)
Howard Leeds
(seasons 2–6)
Blake Hunter
(seasons 5–7)
Martin Cohan
(season 7)
Bob Brunner[1]
Ken Hecht
(season 8)
ProducersHoward Leeds
Herbert Kenwith
(season 1)
Martin Cohan
(seasons 1–6)
Ben Starr
(seasons 2–4)
Bruce Taylor
(season 7)
Al Aidekman
Richard Gurman
(season 8)
Production locationsMetromedia Square
Hollywood, California (1978–82)
Universal City Studios
Universal City, California (1982–85)
ABC Television Center
Hollywood, California (1985–86)
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time24 mins.
Production companiesTandem Productions, Inc.
Embassy Television
Original release
ReleaseNovember 3, 1978 (1978-11-03) –
March 7, 1986 (1986-03-07)
The Facts of Life
Hello, Larry

Diff'rent Strokes is an American sitcom created by Jeff Harris and Bernie Kukoff. Diff'rent Strokes is set in New York City. It ran for 8 seasons and had 189 episodes. Diff'rent Strokes launched the career of four of its stars Gary Coleman, Todd Bridges, Dana Plato, and Conrad Bain.

About[change | change source]

The show is about a rich man Phillip Drummond (Conrad Bain) and his daughter Kimberly Drummond (Dana Plato) living in an apartment in New York City. Shortly before his maid died, she wanted him to take care of her two children, Arnold and Willis Jackson (Gary Coleman and Todd Bridges). They go through funny adventures and face realistic problems that can affect Arnold or the Drummond family.

Cast and characters[change | change source]

Conrad Bain is the only cast member to appear in all Diff'rent Strokes episodes. Gary Coleman did not appear in two.

Main characters[change | change source]

  • Conrad Bain as Phillip Drummond, a friendly, rich white widower. He runs the Trans Allied, Inc. He was born December 3, 1931 in Manhattan. He has two adopted African-American sons, 12-year-old Willis and 8-year-old Arnold Jackson. He also has an older sister named Sophia. He then remarried Maggie McKinney.
  • Dana Plato as Kimberly Drummond, Phillip's only biological child. She was shown as a caring, loving big sister to both Willis and Arnold. As a rich teenager, though, she had various problems.
  • Gary Coleman as Arnold Jackson, the younger brother of Willis. He was born in Harlem, New York City on October 19, 1971. Arnold was known for his catch phrase, Whatchoo talkin' 'bout Willis?, which became a part of popular culture.
  • Todd Bridges as Willis Jackson, the older brother of Arnold. He was born in Harlem on April 27, 1965. Willis's catch phrase is Say what?

Other characters[change | change source]

The curse[change | change source]

There have been rumors of a curse about the cast members of the series such as; the falling career, robbery, and suicide of Dana Plato[2] and the sudden death of Gary Coleman from an accidental fall. The only well-known cast members that survive is Todd Bridges.

References[change | change source]

  1. "Bob Brunner, 'Happy Days' writer, dies". Variety. 2012-11-08. Retrieved 2012-11-27.
  2. Sporkin, Elizabeth (March 25, 1991). "Diff'rent Strokes, Fallen Stars". People. 35 (11). ISSN 0093-7673. Archived from the original on April 5, 2016. Retrieved August 5, 2013.

Other websites[change | change source]