Behind The Camera

Saturday 28th June 9.30pm

Child stars seem like they have it made but when the adults they trust end up loving money more than they love their children, it can all come back to haunt them.

Never has this been more true than in this cautionary tale that takes a hard look at the true-life drama behind the hit television sitcom Diff’rent Strokes.

The award winning series was a vehicle for three talented child stars Gary Coleman, Todd Bridges and Dana Plato, whose work produced lots of laughs, but whose lives were full of tragedy.

The diminutive child-star, Gary Coleman, received no emotional support or help when he was forced to continue to play a cute, eight-year-old character year after year, all the way up to the age of sixteen. Even when he experienced chronic health problems, his father continually put Gary’s career first.

Todd Bridges’ father was an abusive alcoholic who eventually divorced his mother. When Todd’s television career waned, he had numerous run-ins with the law and developed an extensive rap sheet for alleged shootings, stabbings, and various drug charges.

Perhaps the most tragic story of all is that of Dana Plato – when the show ended, Dana turned to armed robbery and pornography and eventually died from an accidental drug overdose.