Dana Michelle Plato – Kimberly and Her Diff’rent Lives

Celebrity:  Dana Michelle Plato
Occupation:  Kimberly on Diff’rent Strokes




Dana played a wholesome, goody two-shoes kinda gal on the successful 1980’s tv sitcom Diff’rent Strokes. She was the female lead on the show but not the most popular character, that distinction going to Gary Coleman who played Arnold Jackson. Hooo boy. In real life Dana was anything but wholesome. She was addicted to valium before the series and at 14, nearly died of an overdose. During the filming of the series Dana remained addicted to  valium. Occasionally she forged prescriptions to get a hold of her drug of choice.  Kimberly … tsk, tsk, tsk. What would Daddy say? After the series Dana’s career took a spectacular nosedive. She did not get picked up as a regular in other television sitcoms. She made fleeting guest appearances on the Loveboat and Fantasy Island and she starred in what is known as B-movies (low-budget, commercial flicks that use up drive-in time before the real movie comes on). She starred in occasional soft core porn, got breast implants, and in 1989 posed as a centrefold for Playboy. In 1984 she had a son named Tyler Edward. To see the opening of Diff’rent Strokes click here.

That’s where it gets tawdry.

By 1991 Plato moved to Las Vegas where she worked in a dry cleaning store (hey, it’s a job). She committed armed robbery at a video store (irony) and netted a whole $164.00. If Dana craved another chance in the spotlight,  it worked. The store clerk called the police and stated “I’ve just been robbed by the girl who played Kimberly on Diff’rent Strokes.” Perhaps he should have asked for her autograph before she made off with the loot. Dana was arrested and given 5 years probation. Well it beats jail, I guess. To see Dana in California Suite click here.

In 1998, Dana posed for the cover of Girlfriends, a lesbian publication and “came out” during an interview. Later she denied it and insisted she was heterosexual. Tsk, tsk. What some people will do for a little attention and a few bills.

In 1999 Dana gave an interview to Howard Stern, discussing her alcoholism, claiming she had been sobre for a decade, insisting she was now drug-free and was happily engaged to her manager, Robert Menchaca. To hear Dana on the Howard Stern show click here. To watch a video about Dana Plato`s Last Days click here.

The following day Dana was found dead inside her recreational vehicle outside of her fiancee’s mother’s home. She committed suicide by a drug overdose. She was 34. Her son Tyler committed suicide at the age of 25 in 2010 by a gunshot wound to the head. To read the article click here. Runs in the family, I guess.

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14 Responses to Dana Michelle Plato – Kimberly and Her Diff’rent Lives

  1. Pingback: Abusing Children to Get that 15 Minutes of Shame … er, Fame « 40 years of faulty wiring

  2. Pingback: Dana plato » Images Search

  3. fowad says:

    shes a lovely sensitive girl too good for the cruel bad world thats what i think

  4. fowad says:

    she was in trouble the people should have helped her instead of being nasty

  5. BOB-USA says:

    There for the grace of God goes you or I. Maybe more you than I, because I don’t smoke or do drugs and you do. If only someone had told this girl “the easiest way to keep out of trouble is not to get into it.” And that’s the secret of how life gets better, that, and a savings plan, and 7 hours sleep each night and 2 good meals a day.

  6. Dana's Biggest Fan says:

    RIP Dana. Diff’rent Strokes is on Antenna TV now. I enjoy watching you and wish you were still here. Too many people have gone down the path that you did. If only someone had been able to reach out and save you. You were beautiful. Hollywood did what it usually does, takes what it can and kicks you to the curb. It’s hard to believe you’re dead 14 years now. Sad and heartbreaking.

  7. Mean Girl says:

    Dana was a good role model for anyone who aspires to be a loser.

  8. Anonymous says:

    She should have moved on with her life and stopped trying to hold onto her 15 minutes of fame. She had limited talent but looked good. There were better actresses out there.

  9. dghitchens says:

    That last Stern interview was desperate. She made the mistake of thinking Howard was cool and mistook him for a friend. Instead, he crapped all over her just to entertain his audience. I heard it and it was not amusing or comfortable to listen to. It was embarrassing, the last straw for her and she was dead the next day. Stern and everyone like him ought to be ashamed.

    • leon says:

      I use to watch you; as a child and now: gone!!!!….many; years – have passed since, you left us and I still think of you!!!!…..to: this day; I wonder: who – you really were…..and believe: that , you are: in a better place …..along: with Gary Coleman…..Mr Drummond!!!!!!…..good night all of you! ….sweet: dreams……..

    • Anonymous says:

      Stern had nothing to do with her death. Someone should look close to this dude Robert Menchaca. He knows what happened to her! The truth will come out Robert Menchaca.

  10. leon says:


  11. Anonymous says:

    This is a terrible innacurate accounting of Dana’s life. Do you own research and skip this post, things are taken out of context with activities and dates moved around to create a negative narrative.

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