Facts of Life / Differences Without Strokes Live Actors and Characters Guide

Two of the biggest sitcoms of the 1970s and 1980s, different blows and its spinoff NS Truth of life, will be brought back to television for a single night of the show Live in front of the studio audience presented by Jimmy Kimmel and Norman Lear. This will be the show’s latest reimagining of specific episodes of popular comedies from decades past, with previous specials that will tackle All in the family, Good times, and The Jeffersons, main character Marisa Tomei and Woody Harrelson as Edith and Archie Bunker, Wanda Sykes and Jaime Foxx as Louise and George Jefferson, and Viola Davis and Andre Braugher like Florida and James Evans.

The productions also include musical guests to perform popular theme songs. Performed by Tomei and Harrelson All in the family, Jennifer Hudson perform The Jeffersons, and Patti LaBelle perform Good times. With the popularity of theme songs for Truth of life and Various blows – originally made by Gloria Loring and Alan Thickerespectively – it will be interesting to see who will sing the opening this time.

Here’s a look at the original cast of the two shows, as well as who will portray them in this new special.

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different blows

Photos via NBC

different blows is the story of a wealthy white man and his daughter who adopt the two sons of their former black housekeeper after her sudden death. The sitcom ran from 1978 to 1986, with the final season moving from NBC to ABC.

Arnold Jackson (Gary Coleman / Kevin Hart)

Images via Netflix

The younger brother of the Jackson brothers who was adopted by Mr. Drummond, Arnold was a star to play Gary Coleman. His catchphrase “Whatchu talkin’ about, Willis?” is one of the most famous of all time. Coleman died in 2010 at the age of 42 after a lifetime of illness.


In this special, Arnold will do Kevin Hart, it’s certainly an interesting choice since Coleman was 10 years old in his first season and Hart was 42 years old. But Hart’s comedic talent and star power are sure to captivate viewers.

Willis Jackson (Todd Bridge / Damon Wayans)

deadly weapon-damon-wayans
Image via Fox

Todd Bridge plays Willis, Jackson’s older brother, who has been through a series of typical teenage problems. Willis is often heard saying “Say what?” though his catchphrase doesn’t play out the way Coleman did. Bridges remains active in film and television, as well as a voiceover artist on video games.

Willis will be portrayed by Damon Wayans in the 2021 version. Between the main characters above Vivid color and Mine Wife and children, among many other credits, Wayans is no stranger to television.

Phillip Drummond (Conrad Bain / John Lithgow)

Tuesday 3-rock-from-the-sun-john-lithgow
Photos via NBC

Phillip was the aforementioned rich guy who opened his heart and doors to Arnold and Willis. Conrad Bain has been acting since the early 1950s when he took on the lead role in different blows. His last television appearance was with Coleman in the series finale Prince of Bel-Air fresh as potential buyers of the Bank’s villas. Bain passed away in 2013.

Mr. Drummond will be portrayed by John Lithgow. A two-time Tony winner and a six-time Emmy Award winner, including three for the lead role on the sitcom The 3rd Rock from the Sun, it would be great to see Lithgow return to the comedy if it was only for one night.

Philip’s biological daughter, Kimberly, is played by Dana Plato, who tragically passed away in 1999 at the age of 34. The program has two more housekeepers, Adelaide and Pearl, do Nedra Volz and Mary Jo Catlett after Mrs. Garrett left the show. Mr. Drummond eventually remarried to a woman named Maggie, who was played for a season by Dixie Carter and next season by Mary Ann Mobley. Danny Cooksey also stars as Maggie’s son, Sam. And who can forget Charlene, Willis’ girlfriend, due to none other than the main character Janet Jackson?

Truth of life

the-truth-of-actor's life
Photos via NBC

A subsection of different blows, Truth of life is an equally long-running sitcom, which aired for nine seasons from 1979 to 1988. The show follows the Drummonds’ former housekeeper, Mrs. Garrett, as she gets a job at a prestigious girls’ school in New York. upstate New York City, where Kimberly Drummond will attend. (Kimberly didn’t become a regular character.) The show went through a few retoolings during its run. After the first season, the student cast is reduced to the four main girls listed below. When Jo and Blair graduated, Mrs. Garrett opened a bakery and the four girls moved in with her to help run the business. After a fire broke out in the bakery, they all decided to open a new store. In the last two seasons, Charlotte Rae leave the program. Cloris Leachman plays Beverly Ann, Garrett’s sister, who takes over the business and continues to mentor the now-adult girls.

Edna Garrett (Charlotte Rae / Ann Dowd)

Image via A24

Mrs. Garrett begins Truth of life as a stay-at-home mom for Eastland School. She then moved on to a dietitian, who runs a school canteen and eventually the owner of Edna’s Edibles Bakery and Over Our Heads Boutique. Charlotte Rae was a Broadway star in the 50s and 60s with a long history of television appearances before landing her big role. different blows. She passed away in 2018 at the age of 92.

Emmy Award Winner Ann Dowd will play Mrs. Garrett in both different blows and NS Truth of life for the special.

Blair Warner (Lisa Whelchel / Jennifer Aniston)

Image via Apple TV +

The spoiled rich Daddy’s girl from Manhattan, Blair is the girl everyone loves to hate. And somehow, Lisa Whelchel managed to make her not only approachable but also warm and funny. Blair will be portrayed by Jennifer Aniston, who is used to playing a spoiled rich girl who learned to grow up and be a good person thanks to her recurring role as Rachel on the hit sitcom Friend.

Natalie Green (Mindy Cohn / Allison Tolman)

Image via Paramount +

Natalie is often considered the group’s comic relief character. Played by Mindy Cohn, she is frequently at the center of controversial stories, from being the first of the girls to lose her virginity, to learning how to grieve over her father’s sudden death, to being the victim of a Halloween sexual assault. Allison Tolman of the Fargo fame will play Natalie Green for TV Special.

Dorothy “Tootie” Ramsey (Kim Fields / Gabrielle Union)

Pictures via Universal Pictures

The youngest of the girls, Tootie do Metal field, who was only 11 years old when the show started. Tootie was known for her roller skates and her gossip. As he got older, Tootie developed a hobby of acting in television series and turned it into a desire to become an actor. Tootie will be played by a movie and TV star Gabrielle Union (Bring it in, LA’s Finest).

Jo Polniaczek (Nancy McKeon / Kathryn Hahn)

Kathryn Hahn at WandaVision
Image via Disney +

Jo joined the cast for the third season and immediately became Blair’s arch-nemesis when she arrived on a motorcycle and asked if she could park it in Blair’s face. As polar opposites, Jo and Blair are hilarious as rivals, but they’re even better when they’re best friends. Nancy McKeon was one of the “it” girls of the ’80s, and playing Jo was a standout role. Her own “it” girl in 2021, Kathryn Hahn, will take on the role of Jo cho Live in front of the studio audience.

Some notable recurring characters on Truth of life consists of Mackenzie Astin like Andy, Geri Jewell as Geri, Blair’s cousin, and some unnamed actors named George Clooney as George. Sadly both Rae and Leachman have passed away, but hopefully one of the girls (or a Clooney) will appear for a surprise cameo. Jon stewart has been announced to appear, but there is no word yet on who he will play.

Live in front of the studio audience airs December 7 on ABC.

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https://collider.com/facts-of-life-diffrent-strokes-live-cast-character-guide/ Facts of Life / Differences Without Strokes Live Actors and Characters Guide

Bobby Allyn

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