This phrase will run through your mind as you read Todd Bridges’ compelling autobiography, Killing Willis. Now, I normally don’t read non-fiction, especially autobiographies, but this one was really interesting. I was a huge Todd Bridges fan during his days on Diff’rent Strokes and was disappointed to see his life and career burn up in crack pipe flames. This book chronicles his journey from his humble beginnings in San Francisco to his not-so glamorous life in South Central LA, and finally his road to recovery and redemption.
Despite the misfortunes that life dealt him, including physical and emotional abuse from his father, sexual molestation by his publicist, and racial profiling from the LAPD, Todd never used these as a crutch or an excuse for his descent into drugs. The choice was his alone; however, that’s not to say that he wasn’t influenced by others, namely one of his co-stars from Diff’rent Strokes. He ultimately accepts responsibility for his own actions. After several attempts at sobriety, stints in jail, and a brief stay in prison, Todd finally turned his life and his career around. For that, he credits his family’s unwavering support of him as well as his belief in God.