In his memoir Killing Willis, Todd reveals painful, underlying issues that drove his addiction. When Todd wasn't on the set of Diff'rent Strokes, he says there was little laughter in his life.
At home, Todd lived in fear of his father. "Whenever the garage door would start to come open, that's when we got nervous because we knew my dad was going to be drunk," he says. "We knew that he was going to be angry, and most times, he was always angry at me."
As a small child, Todd says he dreamed of being on television because he wanted to freely express his emotions and be himself. "I was unable to do it at home in front of my father," he says. "I was unable to be really happy or be sad or really say what I felt."
When Todd looks back at pictures and clips of his younger self, he says he feels a sense of sadness. "The only time when I was happy was when I was on the sets," he says. "I was going through a lot at the time. I really was hurting."
Todd says Conrad Bain, the actor who played Mr. Drummond, his father on Diff'rent Strokes, was more of a dad to him than his own father was.