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Killing Willis: From Diff'rent Strokes to the Mean Streets to the Life I Always Wanted Paperback – Illustrated, March 8, 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 196 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Todd Bridges was born in San Francisco, California in 1965. He became the first African-American child actor to have a recurring role on a successful TV series, The Waltons. He also appeared on Little House on the Prairie, and in the landmark miniseries Roots. He was a regular on the Barney Miller spinoff Fish, before landing his best-known role as Willis on Diff'rent Strokes.

Bridges has a brother and sister who are both actors, Jimmy Bridges and Verda Bridges. His father, James Bridges, Sr., became one of the first prominent black Hollywood agents, while his mother, Betty A. Bridges, was also an actress and later became one of Hollywood's greatest managers and acting coaches.

Today, Todd is a working actor, director, and producer and he and his brother James Jr., have partnered to establish their own production company, Little Bridge Productions. Todd is married and has a son, Spencir, and a daughter, Bo.

Sarah Tomlinson is a Los Angeles– and Brooklyn-based writer. Her writing has appeared in publications including Marie Claire, the Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, Salon.com, and Vol1Brooklyn.com. She has ghostwritten nine books, including two uncredited New York Times bestsellers. Visit her online at SarahTomlinson.com and follow her alter ego, Duchess of Rock (@DuchessofRock), on Twitter.

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Atria Books; Illustrated edition (March 8, 2011)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 288 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1439148996
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1439148990
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 9.1 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.44 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 196 ratings

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
196 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on October 13, 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars Boy, what a life and what a book. Todd Bridges' life story should be made into a movie.
By Matthew Robinson on October 13, 2020
After reading this book, you wonder how Todd Bridges is still alive today or that he isn't in a mental institution. He sold drugs; he used drugs; he camped out for long periods in various crack houses; he was involved in many potentially fatal disputes with various Los Angeles County police departments; was a victim of child molestations; he pulled a knife on his father after growing seriously tired of the latter abusing his mother and him; and so much more. You're going to have to read the book to fully grasp why Bridges is above ground instead of his being buried in a Los Angeles area cemetery.

Writing this book was therapy for Bridges, because how can a man keep all that he went through bottled up in his brain? This book should be required reading for those who think that life has given up on them and that there's no way back from hell.

For years before I read this book, I had heard about Bridges' struggles with drugs, rehab, and the court system. But Killing Willis helped make me understand why he did all those self destructive things to himself.

One of the things I loved about this book was that Bridges didn't blame no one for why he used and sold drugs, which in turn gave him a hellish life in the 1980s and early 1990s. Yes, his father's abuse towards him as a child through his young adult years had something to do with his drug usage and self destructive life, but Bridges in this book was adamant about taking responsibility for the way his life turned out.

In conclusion, I'm glad Bridges is alive today and that he told his story in this book. I hope this book reaches a lot of struggling addicts or people who live with or are around struggling addicts. Books like this are made to reach people who need help. No one overcomes addiction alone.
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Reviewed in the United States on June 29, 2021
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Top reviews from other countries

D
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm glad I bought this book a few years back
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 8, 2016
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Lior Y
5.0 out of 5 stars Could not put the book down for one minute!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 11, 2013
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wilhermina
5.0 out of 5 stars AN Excellent read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 19, 2014
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monica
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 5, 2012
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Leona Wellington
5.0 out of 5 stars Bold Frankness
Reviewed in Australia on October 24, 2020
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