34 (passed away May. 8th, 1999)
Nov. 7th, 1964
Maywood, California, USA
Dana Plato's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles2002 - The Kid Stays in the Picture
1995 - Compelling Evidence
1978 - California Suite
1977 - Exorcist II: The Heretic
Guest TV Roles
Mary Beth Sanders
Dana Michelle Plato was born in Maywood, California, on November 7, 1964. Her first excursion into the film world occurred when she was eleven in the television film Beyond the Bermuda Triangle (1975) (TV). Dana never really made an impact on the TV screen until she landed the part of Kimberly Drummond in the TV hit sitcom "Diff'rent Strokes" from 1978-1984. After the series ended, Dana had a hard time trying to find other acting work. Sometimes she would surface in a made-for-TV movie or a low-budget film for the silver screen. Times were rough. Her marriage to Lanny Lambert lasted a year, but produced a son. She was arrested in 1991 for robbing a video store in Las Vegas but was placed on probation. The following year, Dana was, again, arrested for forging a prescription for Valium. Things were at a low ebb. She had just finished an interview with Howard Stern, in the spring of 1999, when she and her fiancÚ, Robert Menchaca, were headed back to California. The interview was one in which Dana hoped to revive her stalled career. They stopped at his parents house in Moore, Oklahoma, for a weekend Mother's Day visit before continuing on to California. On Saturday, May 8, 1999, Dana died of what appeared to be an accidental overdose of a painkiller called Loritab. Later, on May 21, a coroner's inquest ruled her death a suicide due to a large amount of drugs in her body and her history of past suicide attempts. She was 34 years old.
- Was number 91 on vh1's _"100 Greatest Kid Stars" (2005)_ (qv).
- Childhood dream was to be an Olympic figure skater.
- Attended Sutter Jr. High in Winnetka, CA (1978).
- Won the part of Violet in the movie _Pretty Baby (1978)_ (qv), but turned it down, so she wouldn't be typecast in this type of role. 'Brooke Shields' (qv) ended up playing the part.
- Was fired from Diff'rent Strokes at the end of the 1983-84 season due to her pregnancy. The producers were unwilling to write the pregnancy into the show, but she was able to return for guest appearances after her son was born.
- Birth mother's name is Linda Strain.
- Arrested for forging a valium prescription in 1992.
- Arrested for armed robbery in 1991.
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