What Really Happened Between Gary Coleman And Todd Bridges On The Set Of Diff'rent Strokes

While cast members have gotten along famously throughout their run on a show or a movie, like on "Friends," there have been many times when co-stars could not stand each other and only were friendly when the director barked "Action!" For example, toward the end of the run on "Castle," apparently Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic could barely stand each other ... which was a problem, when they were supposed to be a romantic couple (via US Magazine). Which is why they call it acting.

Most of the time, actors will be professionals despite any bad blood between them off the set. They want to stay employed, after all. But there have been times when an actor or actress would be rude to other members of the cast or the crew. Then it becomes a problem, especially if the actor is a star and holds a lot of sway on the set. Many times, the powers-that-be turn a blind eye to these antics, as long as the money keeps coming in — it's called "show business" for a reason. Sometimes a co-star might step in. 

This apparently was the situation about 40 years ago between Gary Coleman and Todd Bridges on the set of the sitcom "Diff'rent Strokes." Then one day, the dynamic really shifted, and it resulted in a brief disappearing act for one of the two. Hint: It wasn't the one with the catchphrase. 

Todd Bridges quickly learned who was in charge

When the show first started, Gary Coleman and Todd Bridges became fast friends. They played brothers on the show, and basically became like real-life brothers when the cameras stopped. Then the show became enormously popular and Coleman, who played the wise-cracking Arnold Jackson, changed. According to a Village Voice article about Bridges' 2010 memoir "Killing Willis: From Diff'rent Strokes to the Mean Streets to the Life I Always Wanted," Coleman got an attitude that extended into his real life. Bridges, who portrayed Arnold's older brother, Willis, got tired of his co-star being crude to those around him on the set. He told Coleman to knock it off and got slapped in response. 

It didn't end there, reports Cheat Sheet. While Bridges (above) was too much of an integral part of the show to get kicked off — there was no "The Gooch Kills Willis" storyline — he did have to sit out a few episodes before returning to the cast. Looking back at it, he didn't blame Coleman for his behavior, reasoning that the actor's parents were behind that shift. 

Ultimately, the show ended and the cast went their separate ways. Both Coleman and fellow cast member Dana Plato have died, and Bridges remains the lone surviving original child cast member. He may have a lot of good memories of his work as a child star, but this less pleasant one also lingered.