The series was so successful that NBC used it to launch or boost two other shows: The Facts of Life, which sent Mrs. Garrett to run a girls' school, and the McLean Stevenson program Hello, Larry, which followed Strokes on the network. Though perhaps best known to current audiences for the unfortunate luck suffered by several of its cast members after the show's cancellation in 1986, this first-season set offers a pleasant reminder of the show's charms.
Cast & Characters
- Conrad Bain as Phillip Drummond
- Gary Coleman as Arnold Jackson
- Todd Bridges as Willis Jackson
- Dixe Carter as Maggie McKinney (1984-1985)
- Dana Plato as Kimberly Drummond (1978-1984)
- Mary Jo Carlett as Pearl Gallagher (1982-1986)
- Rosilind Chao as Miss Chung (1982-1983)
- Dody Goodman as Aunt Sophia (1981-1982)
- Janet Jackson as Charlene DuPrey (1981-1982)
- Nedra Volz as Adelaide Brubaker (1980-1982)
- Shavar Ross as Dudley Ramsey (1981-1986)
- Le Tari as Mr. Ted Ramsey (1981-1985)
- Steven Mond as Robbie Jackson (1982-1983)
- Nikki Swasey as Lisa Hayes (1982-1986)
- Danny Cooksey as Sam Mckinney (1984-1986)
- Mary Ann Mobley as Maggie McKinney (1985-1986)
- Jason Hervey as Charlie (1985-1986)
- Charlotte Rae as Mrs. Garret (1978-1980)
Broadcast HistoryFirst Telecast: November 3, 1978
Last Telecast: March 7, 1986
Original Network: NBC, ABC
Number of Seasons: 8
Number of Episodes: 189
Original Primetime TV Schedule:
- November 1978- October 1979, NBC, Friday 8:00-8:30pm
- October 1979- October 1981, NBC, Wednesday 9:00-9:30pm
- October 1981- August 1982, NBC, Thursday 9:00-9:30pm
- August 1982- August 1985, NBC, Saturday 8:00-8:30pm
- September 1985- March 1986, ABC, Friday 9:00-9:30pm
Theme Song Lyrics & Opening Credits"Diff'rent Strokes" by Alan Thicke, Gloria Loring and Al Burton
Diff'rent Strokes On DVD
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Diff'rent Strokes TriviaEach Diff'rent Strokes episode taught some lesson about how to live a good life. In fact, in 1983, first lady Nancy Reagan appeared on a Diff'rent Strokes episode about drug abuse to promote her "Just Say No" program.
Although we never saw Mr. Drummond do much work, his fortune came from his career as the President of Trans Allied, Inc.
Mr. Drummond's housekeeper, "Mrs. Garret", became the star of a "spin-off" TV show titled, "The Facts of Life (1979)". In fact, the very first episode of "The Facts of Life" was a crossover episode with "Diff'rent Strokes".
Philip Drummond also appeared on a few episodes of the TV show, "Hello Larry". He and Larry were old Army buddies.
Gary Coleman, who played loveable Arnold Jackson, was born with a defective kidney and received a transplant at five years of age. The abnormal functioning of his kidney during his first five years of life is what caused him to be smaller than normal for his age.
Todd Bridges had the "child star" problems that many other young people experience when they achieve great success early in life. He couldn't get work due to being "type cast" as Willis Jackson. After some trouble with the law over drug charges, however, Todd really turned his life around! He fought his way back into show business, not only as a producer and director behind the camera, but also as an actor! He also got married and had a son and he travels all over the U.S. lecturing at schools and churches about the value of leading a "clean" life without drugs, gangs, etc.