Conrad Bain died a few days ago; he played Mr. Drummond on the 1978-85 sitcom Diff’rent Strokes. Here’s the season 6 intro, and here’s an intro from an early season, though with the same theme song. Dana Plato died in 1999 and Gary Coleman died in 2010, so of the long-time regulars, only Todd Bridges is left.
This is as good a time as any to whip out my version of the Diff’rent Strokes theme song which, several months ago, inspired by my friend Jason Bryson, I put into sonnet form:
The world it moveth not unto the beat
Of drummer solitary and alone;
For that which to thy palate may be meet
Another one disdaineth to condone.
A man is born: perchance a man of means;
But then arrive some urchins whom he knows.
Upon this stage shall they play many scenes,
These twain, nought else possessing save their hose.
The story of each man hath its own spring,
Each findeth paths by which he best may shine.
That thou beest wretched, ’tis a trivial thing:
Forsooth, united shall our lot be fine.
Seek not to tie thy fellow to thy yokes:
This earthly orb is mov’d by divers strokes.
UPDATE: Via Tim Cavanaugh, I learn that the author of the original theme song is none other than Alan Thicke who, in addition to having played the father on Growing Pains (note: Kirk Cameron and I share a birthday), also, often together with his wife Gloria Loring, wrote a number of TV series theme songs, including the theme song to The Facts of Life.