Growing Pains: The Tribulations of 1980s Child TV Stars

PHOTO: Actor Todd Bridges and wife Dori Smith arrive at the 5th Annual TV Land Awards held at Barker Hangar on April 14, 2007 in Santa Monica, California.

"Diff'rent Strokes" star Todd Bridges and his wife Dori are splitting after 14 years of marriage.

Bridges broke the news Friday on Twitter, writing, "our lives are going different directions ... we remain good friends."

The couple married in 1998, and Dori most likely kept Bridges on the straight and narrow after years of drug abuse and run-ins with the law. They are parents to 13-year-old Spencir, who followed his father into acting, appearing the 2007 film "Daddy Day Camp" as well as an episode of "iCarly."

"We have a child and we both have his best interests at heart and know this is best for him and us thank you all for understanding," Bridges wrote. About Dori, he said, "She's a great mother I'm glad to have had the years to know her and have a great kid with her as we know, people grow apart and we did."

People can also change, as the once troubled child star knows all too well. After "Diff'rent Strokes" ended in 1986, Bridges struggled with drug addiction and faced criminal charges, including attempted murder of a Los Angeles drug dealer. He was later acquitted, got clean and began rebuilding his career. Now 47, he has appeared on the UPN/CW sitcom "Everybody Hates Chris" and in the reality series "Skating with Celebrities" and "Celebrity Boxing."

Some of his "Diff'rent Strokes" co-stars did not fare as well. Here are their stories and those of other child TV stars from the 1980s.

Gary Coleman

Gary Coleman

Bridges's "Diff'rent Strokes" co-star,

In 1989, Coleman sued his parents and former manager over misappropriation of his $3.8 million trust fund. Though he won a ruling in excess of $1.2 million in 1993, Coleman filed for bankruptcy six years later, and blamed his financial problems on mismanagement of his trust.

Coleman was also cited for disorderly conduct multiple times, and in 1998, was charged with assault after punching a bus driver, Tracy Fields. He pleaded no contest and was ordered to pay Fields' hospital fees. He was later arrested on a domestic violence assault warrant in Utah, and spent a night in jail.

He and his then-wife, Shannon Price, also aired their marital troubles publicly, appearing on "Divorce Court" in 2008 to try to save their marriage. Now Price is fighting with Coleman's ex-girlfriend Anna Gray, who was named as his beneficiary, over the star's estate.

Dana Plato

Dana Plato

Coleman's co-star Dana Plato appeared to have a bright future ahead of her when she landed the role of Kimberly Drummond on "Diff'rent Strokes." The show was a hit from its 1978 premiere, and Plato charmed audiences. But she was written off the series in 1984 amid rumors of drug use, and she struggled to find other roles.

In 1989, Plato bared all for Playboy and began starring in B-movies. From there, she dabbled in soft-core pornography, including a 1997 feature based on her "Diff'rent Strokes" past.

Meanwhile, legal and substance abuse problems plagued the actress. In 1991, she was arrested attempting to rob a video store at gunpoint, and the following year she was arrested for forging a Valium prescription.

Plato's drug addiction eventually took her life -- she died in 1999 after overdosing on the painkillers Vanadom and Vicodin.

Plato's son, Tyler Lambert, who once aspired to follow his famous mother into show business, committed suicide at age 25 on May 6, 2010, just days before the 11th anniversary of her death.

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