Gary Coleman listening

"Diff’rent Strokes," which aired on NBC and (briefly) ABC from 1978-1986, is best remembered today for a handful of diverse reasons: the popularity of its star, child actor Gary Coleman, and the enduring catch phrase ("Whatchu talkin’ bout, Willis?") of his character, Arnold Jackson, as well as the series’ well-intentioned if often heavy-handed "special episodes," which addressed a host of serious issues, from eating disorders to child sexual abuse and bullying. The precipitous career decline of its three youthful leads — Coleman, Todd Bridges (as Arnold’s brother, Willis), and Dana Plato (as their adoptive sister, Kimberly) — has also kept the show in the annals of pop culture.

These factors have somewhat obscured the chief selling point of the series: it was, for the most part, a light-hearted comedy buoyed by an appealing cast, many of whom belied what’s been called the "curse of ‘Diff’rent Strokes‘," enjoying substantial careers even after its cancellation. With the news that "Diff’rent Strokes" will enjoy a one-time TV reboot with a live TV special featuring Kevin Hart as Arnold and Damon Wayans as Willis, it’s a good time to look back at the cast of the TV classic "Diff’rent Strokes" and follow their post-sitcom lives and careers.

Gary Coleman smiles
Conrad Bain smiles
Todd Bridges smiles while looking to the side
Dana Plato smiles, reacts
Charlotte Rae in head scarf smiles
Dixie Carter smiles
Mary Jo Catlett wears hat and smiles
Danny Cooksey frowns
Shavar Ross (r) holds a cigarette
Nedra Volz looks incredulous
Mary Ann Mobley smiles
Jason Hervey smiles, signs wall
Rosalind Chao speaks
Janet Jackson smiles