David Strickland David Gordon Strickland Jr. (October 14, 1969 - March 22, 1999) was an American actor.
Born in Glen Cove, Long Island, he was best known for his role as the boyish rock music reporter Todd Stites in the NBC sitcom Suddenly Susan (starring Brooke Shields). He suffered from bipolar disorder and committed suicide at the age of 29.
His earlier TV roles during the 1990s include Dave's World, Roseanne, Sister, Sister, and Mad About You. He also co-starred in the film Forces of Nature (starring Ben Affleck and Sandra Bullock), which had just opened in U.S. cinemas at the time of his death.
Strickland had a history of drug and alcohol abuse. He was arrested in October 1998 for the possession of cocaine, pleaded no contest in December and was sentenced to 36 months probation and ordered into rehabilitation. He was due in court on the day of his death for a progress report.
News reports of events leading up to his death suggest that he had chosen to stop taking the lithium he was prescribed to control his bipolar disorder, and that he spent the last three days of his life on an alcohol and drug binge with a friend, actor Andy Dick.
Strickland checked in to the Oasis Motel in Las Vegas during the early hours of Monday, March 22. He consumed several bottles of beer and then hanged himself with a bed sheet over the ceiling beam. His body was discovered by a maid.
He left no note, and no evidence of drugs was found in the room. The Clark County coroner's report stated that his body bore the marks of a previous suicide attempt.
At the time of his death, he was romantically linked with actress Tiffani-Amber Thiessen (Saved By The Bell and Beverly Hills 90210).
After much discussion, the producers of Suddenly Susan decided to deal with Strickland's death rather simply. Todd simply did not show up to work that day. When Susan, played by Brooke Shields, called him regarding tickets to a show, his cell phone rang in his desk.
The entire episode was intersperced with interviews of Shields as well as fellow Susan costars Judd Nelson, Kathy Griffin and Nestor Carbonell.