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David Gordon Strickland, Jr. (October 14, 1969 – March 22, 1999) was an American actor. He was best known for his role as the boyish rock music reporter Todd Stities in the NBC sitcom Suddenly Susan.[1]

David Strickland
David Gordon Strickland, Jr.

(1969-10-14)October 14, 1969
DiedMarch 22, 1999(1999-03-22) (aged 29)
Cause of deathSuicide by hanging
Years active1994–1999
Notable work
Todd Stities in Suddenly Susan



David Gordon Strickland, Jr. was born on October 14, 1969 in Glen Cove, Long Island, New York. His parents, Gordon and Karen, both worked as executives.[2] Strickland moved with his family to Princeton, New Jersey, and later to California, where he became an actor. Strickland appeared in earlier television roles including Dave's World, Roseanne, Sister, Sister, and Mad About You. While filming Suddenly Susan, Strickland reportedly suffered from bipolar disorder and had a long and troubled history of drug and alcohol abuse. He was arrested five months before his death for the possession of cocaine, pleaded no contest and was sentenced to three years' probation and ordered into rehabilitation. He was due in court for a progress report on the day of his death. News reports of events leading up to Strickland's death suggest that he had chosen to stop taking the lithium he was prescribed to control his bipolar disorder.[3]


On March 20, 1999, Strickland and Andy Dick flew from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and spent three days partying in strip clubs.[3] After checking into Room 20 of the Oasis Motel, Strickland spent time with a prostitute, consumed six bottles of beer, hanged himself with a bed sheet over the ceiling beam, and died during the morning hours of March 22, 1999.[4] His body was discovered by a private investigator hired by his friend and co-star Brooke Shields when Strickland missed his appearance in Los Angeles Municipal Court for cocaine possession.[5][6] Evidence of drug use was found in his room. The Clark County Coroner concluded that Strickland's body bore the marks of a previous suicide attempt.[7]

After much discussion, the writers of Suddenly Susan decided to deal with Strickland's death directly by killing off his character, Todd Stities. In the show's third season finale, Todd fails to appear at work one day. When Susan calls Todd regarding tickets to a show, his pager vibrates on his desk. Susan spends the day searching for Todd, after learning for the first time about a number of good deeds he had done throughout his life. The episode ends when the police call Jack's phone, while Susan and her coworkers are gathered in a prayer circle, and the details of Todd's fate are left ambiguous. The episode is interspersed with out-of-character interviews with Shields and the show's supporting cast.


Year Title Role Notes
1994 Object of Obsession Homeless Man
1994 Postcards from America Driver
1995 Phobophilia: The Love of Fear
1995 Dave's World Police Officer Episode: "What the Early Bird Gets"
1995 Roseanne First Cop Episode: "The Getaway, Almost"
1995–1996 Mad About You Hollis 6 episodes
1996 Sister, Sister Dave Barnes 3 episodes
1996 Mixed Nuts Ross Kellog Television movie
1996–1999 Suddenly Susan Todd Stities 71 episodes
1999 Forces of Nature Steve Montgomery
1999 Delivered Will Sherman Alternative title: Death by Pizza


  1. ^ Ravo, Nick (1999-03-24). "David Strickland, 29, Actor; Had Role in Television Sitcom". The New York Times. Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  2. ^ "David Strickland Biography (1969-1999)". Film Reference. Retrieved 2019-03-06.
  3. ^ a b Ryan, Joal (1999-06-01). "David Strickland's Last Party-Hardy Days". E! News. New York, NY. Retrieved 2018-11-21.
  4. ^ Ryan, Joal (1999-03-24). ""Suddenly Susan" Costar's Final Hours". E! News. New York, NY. Retrieved 2018-11-21.
  5. ^ Shain, Michael (1999-05-31). "BROOKE'S PRIVATE EYE NEW REVELATIONS IN SUICIDE OF SHIELDS' 'SUDDENLY' STAR". New York Post. Retrieved 2018-11-21.
  6. ^ Gliatto, Tom (April 5, 1999). "Dark Forces: Brooke Shields's TV Sitcom Costar David Strickland Takes His Own Troubled Life". People. Retrieved 2 May 2009.
  7. ^ Goldman, Adam (2004-02-15). "Anonymity of Las Vegas Is a Magnet for Suicidal Tourists". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2018-11-21.

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