Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Dana Michelle Plato (November 7, 1964 - May 8, 1999) was an American actress who became famous playing the role of Kimberly Drummond in the U.S. television sitcom Diff'rent Strokes. Plato was born in Maywood, California and grew up in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles.
Plato was fired from Diff'rent Strokes when she became pregnant and her career slumped after the show, with appearances in low-budget films, including some soft-core pornography, and in some minor roles in made for TV movies. She had a starring role in the pioneering and wildly controversial live action video game Night Trap in 1992. She also had repeated drug and alcohol problems.
Plato appeared partially nude in Prime Suspect (1988), Compelling Evidence (1995), and Different Strokes (a.k.a. Different Strokes: The story of Jack and Jill... and Jill) (1997). She was also the feature of a Playboy pictorial in 1989.
Her one year marriage to Lanny Lambert produced a son, Tyler Lambert (born 1985). She was arrested in 1991 for robbing a video store in Las Vegas, but was placed on probation. The following year Plato was arrested again, this time for forging a prescription for Valium.
In 1999 she and Lambert were returning to California following Plato's appearance on the Howard Stern show, hoping to revive her stagnant career. They stopped at Lambert's mother's home in Moore, Oklahoma for a Mother's Day visit, where she died of a prescription drug overdose. Her death was subsequently ruled a suicide.
Of the child stars on Diff'rent Strokes, Plato got into the most trouble, while Gary Coleman and Todd Bridges are still alive. Coleman, in fact, ran for Governor of California during the 2003 recall election.
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