Dana Michelle Plato (born Dana Michelle Strain; November 7, 1964 – May 8, 1999) was an American actress who played the role of Kimberly Drummond on the U.S. television sitcom Diff'rent Strokes, from 1978 to 1986. After leaving the cast of Diff'rent Strokes, Plato attempted to establish herself as a working actress, with mixed success: she worked sporadically in made-for-TV movies and in independent films, and did voice-over work. At the age of 34, after years of struggling with poverty and substance abuse, Plato died from an overdose of prescription drugs.
Plato as Kimberly on Diff'rent Strokes, in 1979
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Dana Michelle Strain
November 7, 1964
Maywood, California, U.S.
|Died||May 8, 1999 (aged 34)|
Moore, Oklahoma, U.S.
|Cause of death||Multiple drug intoxication|
|Alma mater||Taft Charter High School|
|Known for||Kimberly Drummond on Diff'rent Strokes|
Lanny Lambert (m. 1984–1990)
|Children||Tyler Lambert (1984–2010)|
Plato was born Dana Michelle Strain on November 7, 1964 in Maywood, California to Linda Strain, an unwed teenager who already was caring for an 18-month-old child. In June 1965, the seven-month-old Dana was adopted by Dean Plato, who owned a trucking company, and his wife Florine "Kay" Plato. Plato was raised in the San Fernando Valley. When she was three, her adoptive parents divorced, and she lived with her mother.
When she was very young, Plato began attending auditions with her mother and from age seven began appearing in television commercials; she reportedly appeared in over 100 commercials. Plato made her film debut at age 13 in the horror film Return to Boggy Creek (1977). Other early credits included Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977) and California Suite (1978).
In addition to acting, Plato was an accomplished figure skater; at one point she trained for a possible Olympic team spot. It was during this time that she made a brief appearance on TV's The Gong Show and was spotted by a producer who helped her secure what became her most famous acting role, Kimberly Drummond on Diff'rent Strokes. According to Plato, her mother decided she should cut back on her skating in order to focus on the TV role.
Diff'rent Strokes debuted on NBC in 1978, becoming an immediate hit. The show features Phillip Drummond (Conrad Bain), a wealthy white widower in New York City who adopts two black boys after their parents' deaths. Plato played Kimberly, Drummond's teenage daughter, who at the start of the show becomes the adoptive sister of the two boys, Willis (Todd Bridges) and Arnold (Gary Coleman). Plato appeared on the show from 1978 until 1984 and again from 1985 to 1986; during her tenure the show appeared on two different networks.
During her years on Diff'rent Strokes, Plato struggled with drug and alcohol problems. She admitted to drinking alcohol, and using cannabis and cocaine, and she suffered an overdose of diazepam when she was 14.
In December 1983, Plato moved in with her boyfriend, rock guitarist Lanny Lambert. The couple married on April 24, 1984, and their only child, Tyler Edward Lambert, was born on July 2, 1984. During this time, Plato was let go from Diff'rent Strokes because the producers did not feel that a pregnancy would fit the show's wholesome image. Although rumors of drug use and other problems on the set surrounded her dismissal, the producers were adamant that Plato's pregnancy was the only reason her character was written out.
She returned for six guest appearances during the show's seventh and eighth seasons. In the season 8 episode that aired on January 17, 1986—Plato's final appearance on the show—Kimberly suffers from the effects of bulimia.
After leaving Diff'rent Strokes, Plato attempted to establish herself as a serious actress but found it difficult to achieve success outside of her sitcom career. She had breast implants and modeled for a June 1989 Playboy pictorial, but her career remained in stagnation, and she started taking roles in such B-movies as Bikini Beach Race (1989) and Lethal Cowboy (1992).
Plato separated from Lambert in January 1988, the same week her mother died of scleroderma. In desperation over these traumatic events, she signed over power of attorney to an accountant who disappeared with the majority of her money, leaving her with no more than $150,000. She claimed the accountant was never found nor prosecuted, despite an exhaustive search, and that he had also stolen more than $11 million of other people's money.
During her March 1990 divorce, Plato lost custody of her son to Lambert and was given visitation rights. She moved to Las Vegas, where she struggled with poverty and unemployment. At one point she worked at a dry-cleaning store, where customers reported being impressed by her lack of airs.
On February 28, 1991, she entered a video store, produced a pellet gun, and demanded the money in the cash register. The clerk called 911, saying "I've just been robbed by the girl who played Kimberly on Diff'rent Strokes." Approximately 15 minutes after the robbery, Plato returned to the scene and was immediately arrested. The robbery netted Plato $164. Las Vegas entertainer Wayne Newton posted her $13,000 bail, and Plato was given five years' probation. Plato made headlines and became a subject of the national debate surrounding troubled child stars, particularly given the difficulties of her Diff'rent Strokes co-stars Gary Coleman and Todd Bridges.
In January 1992, she was arrested again, this time for forging a prescription for diazepam. She served 30 days in jail for violating the terms of her probation and immediately entered a drug rehabilitation program.
In 1992, Plato was one of the first celebrities to star in a video game. The game, Night Trap, was not a great success (the majority of the game's video content was actually filmed in 1987 then shelved), but is considered a pioneering title because it was the first game to use live actors, specifically a well-known personality. Controversy over the violence and sexuality, along with that surrounding Mortal Kombat, eventually led to the creation of the ESRB.
Toward the end of her career, Plato chose roles that could be considered erotic, softcore pornography. She appeared nude in Prime Suspect (1989) and Compelling Evidence (1995), and in the softcore erotic drama Different Strokes: The Story of Jack and Jill...and Jill (1998), whose title was changed after filming in order to tie it to Plato's past. Following her appearance in the film, in the same year, Plato appeared in a cover story of the lesbian lifestyle magazine Girlfriends, in which she came out as a lesbian, although she later recanted.
She became engaged to Fred Potts, a filmmaker and close friend of Johnny Whitaker, but the romance soon ended. Just before her death, she was engaged to her manager Robert Menchaca, with whom she lived in a motor home in Navarre, Florida.
On May 7, 1999, the day before she died, Plato appeared on The Howard Stern Show. She spoke about her life, discussing her financial problems and past run-ins with the law. She admitted to being a recovering alcoholic and drug addict, but claimed she had been sober for more than 10 years by that point, and was not using any drugs, with the exception of prescribed painkillers due to the recent extraction of two molars. Many callers insulted her and questioned her sobriety, which provoked a defiant Plato who offered to take a drug test on the air. Some callers, as well as host Howard Stern, came to Plato's defense. Although she allowed a hair to be cut for the test, Stern later claimed she asked for it back after the interview.
Plato married Lanny Lambert in 1984 and the couple had one son. The couple divorced in 1990, and Lambert was given custody of their son.
On May 8, 1999, Plato and Menchaca were returning to California and stopped at Menchaca's mother's home in Moore, Oklahoma for a Mother's Day visit. Plato went to lie down inside her Winnebago motor home parked outside the house, where she died of an overdose of the painkiller Lortab and the muscle-relaxant Soma. Her death subsequently was ruled a suicide. Her body was cremated and her ashes were scattered in the Pacific Ocean.
|1977||Exorcist II: The Heretic||Sandra Phalor||Uncredited|
|1977||Return to Boggy Creek||Evie Joe|
|1978||California Suite||Jenny Warren|
|1989||Prime Suspect||Diana Masters|
|1992||Bikini Beach Race||J.D.|
|1992||The Sounds of Silence||Deborah Nichols|
|1995||Compelling Evidence||Dana Fields|
|1998||Different Strokes: The Story of Jack and Jill...and Jill||Jill Martin|
|1998||Desperation Boulevard||Dana Plato|
|1999||Silent Scream||Emma Jones|
|2002||Pacino Is Missing||Prosecuting Attorney||Final film role|
|1975||The Six Million Dollar Man||Girl||Episode: "The Bionic Woman"|
|1975||Beyond the Bermuda Triangle||Wendy||Television film|
|1976||Family||Mary Beth Sanders||Episode: "Home Movie"|
|1978||What Really Happened to the Class of '65?||Episode: "The Most Likely to Succeed"|
|1978–86||Diff'rent Strokes||Kimberly Drummond||140 episodes |
Main cast (Seasons 1–6) Recurring role (Seasons 7–8)
|1979||Hello, Larry||Kimberly Drummond||3 episodes |
Guest star (Season 1–2)
|1979||The Facts of Life||Kimberly Drummond||Episode: "Rough Housing"|
|1979–80||CHiPs||Dana Plato||2 episodes |
Guest star (Season 3)
|1980||Family||Debbie||Episode: "Letting Go"|
|1980||ABC Afterschool Specials||Daisy Dallenger||Episode: "Schoolboy Father"|
|1981||A Step in Time||Television film|
|1982||Walt Disney World's 10th Anniversary||Daughter||Television special|
|1983||High School U.S.A.||Cara Ames||Television film|
|1984||The Love Boat||Patty Springer||Episode: "Paying the Piper/Baby Sister/Help Wanted"|
|1985||Growing Pains||Lisa||Episode: "Mike's Madonna Story"|
|1992||Night Trap||Kelly Medd|
|1981||Young Artist Awards||Best Young Actress in a Television Series||Diff'rent Strokes||Nominated|
|1982||Young Artist Awards||Best Young Actress in a Television Special||A Step in Time||Nominated|
|1984||Young Artist Awards||Best Young Actress in a Comedy Series||Diff'rent Strokes||Nominated|
|2003||TV Land Awards||Quintessential Non-Traditional Family (shared with cast)||Nominated|
|2004||TV Land Awards||Quintessential Non-Traditional Family (shared with cast)||Nominated|
Bitter Melon Farm is the second in a three-part series of compilations by the Mountain Goats, released in 1999 by Ajax Records. It is preceded by Protein Source of the Future...Now!, and followed by Ghana.Britt Irvin
Brittney Elizabeth Irvin (born November 10, 1984) is a Canadian actress and singer. She has also done voiceover work for Ocean Productions. Irvin is best known for playing Katie in Scary Godmother: Halloween Spooktacular and its sequel Scary Godmother: The Revenge of Jimmy. She was first billed as Britt Irvin in a 2001 episode of The Outer Limits, and is still sometimes billed as Brittney Irvin in recent work, such as her voice work as Jade in Bratz, and in two of the three episodes of Aliens in America in which she appeared in 2007. She also voiced Sunny Flare in My Little Pony: Equestria Girls.California Suite (film)
California Suite is a 1978 American comedy film directed by Herbert Ross. The screenplay by Neil Simon is based on his play of the same name. Similar to his earlier Plaza Suite, the film focuses on the dilemmas of guests staying in a suite in a luxury hotel. Maggie Smith won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the film.Dana Barron
Dana Barron (born April 22, 1966) is an American actress who is best known for her role as the original Audrey Griswold in the 1983 film National Lampoon's Vacation which she reprised in 2003's National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure for NBC television.Desperation Boulevard
Desperation Boulevard is a 1998 American film written and directed by Greg Glienna.Diff'rent Strokes
Diff'rent Strokes is an American sitcom that aired on NBC from November 3, 1978, to May 4, 1985, and on ABC from September 27, 1985, to March 7, 1986. The series stars Gary Coleman and Todd Bridges as Arnold and Willis Jackson, two Black boys from Harlem who are taken in by a rich white Park Avenue businessman and widower named Phillip Drummond (Conrad Bain) and his daughter Kimberly (Dana Plato), for whom their deceased mother previously worked. During the first season and first half of the second season, Charlotte Rae also starred as the Drummonds' housekeeper, Mrs. Edna Garrett (who ultimately spun off into her own successful sitcom, The Facts of Life).
The series made stars out of child actors Gary Coleman, Todd Bridges and Dana Plato and became known for the "very special episodes" in which serious issues such as racism, illegal drug use, hitchhiking, kidnapping and child sexual abuse were dramatically explored. The lives of these stars were later plagued by legal troubles and drug addiction, with Plato and Coleman later suffering early deaths.Different Strokes (film)
Different Strokes (also titled Different Strokes: The Story of Jack and Jill...and Jill) is a 1998 erotic drama film about a love triangle involving a young couple and another woman. Written and directed by Michael Paul Girard, the film stars Dana Plato, Landon Hall, and Bentley Mitchum. The film's title exploits Plato's fame from the TV series, Diff'rent Strokes. It was Plato's first film appearance since 1992, and would be her second to last film before her death in 1999.
Nathan Rabin gave the film a harsh review, stating, "The shamelessly titled Different Strokes (...) lacks anything resembling even community-theater-level acting", concluding the film "is notable mainly for its aggressive lack of shame. From its title to its threadbare plot to its community-access-level production values, the film reeks of crass exploitation."Digital Pictures
Digital Pictures was an American video game developer founded in 1991 by Lode Coen, Mark Klein, Ken Melville, Anne Flaut-Reed, Kevin Welsh and Tom Zito.The company originated from an attempt to produce a game for the failed VHS-based NEMO game system. One of its first titles, Night Trap was originally produced as a title for the NEMO, before being converted for use with Sega's new Sega CD. The mature-themed content of Night Trap made it the source of some controversy. Nevertheless, the title was a bestseller. Digital Pictures went on to create other full motion video-based titles primarily for Sega hardware, and are regarded as a pioneer of the interactive movie genre. However, the company declined in the mid-1990s due to waning interest in full motion video games. Its final title, Maximum Surge went unreleased and was later repurposed into a film called Game Over.Geraldo (talk show)
Geraldo is an American daytime television talk show hosted by Geraldo Rivera that aired in syndication from September 7, 1987 to June 12, 1998. The last two seasons aired under the title The Geraldo Rivera Show.
The series was a production of Investigative News Group and distributed by Tribune Entertainment. For its first three seasons, Paramount Domestic Television served as co-distributor. For its final two seasons, King World Productions assisted Tribune as co-distributor.High School U.S.A.
High School U.S.A. is a 1983 American made-for-television comedy film starring Michael J. Fox, Nancy McKeon, Anthony Edwards, and Crispin Glover, directed by Rodney Amateau. The film originally aired on NBC on October 16, 1983.
Several of the main actors appeared in sitcoms that were popular at that time. These include Todd Bridges and Dana Plato from Diff'rent Strokes, Nancy McKeon from The Facts of Life, and Michael J. Fox from Family Ties, as well as a number of former 1950s and 1960s sitcom stars including Tony Dow, Frank Bank, and Ken Osmond from Leave It to Beaver.List of Diff'rent Strokes characters
This is a list of characters from the NBC and ABC sitcom Diff'rent Strokes.Night Trap
Night Trap is an interactive movie video game developed by Digital Pictures and originally released by Sega for the Sega CD in 1992. The game is presented primarily through the use of full motion video (FMV). In Night Trap, the player takes the role of a special agent tasked to watch over teenage girls (starring Dana Plato) visiting a house which, unbeknownst to them, is full of danger. The player watches live surveillance footage of the house and triggers traps to capture anyone seen endangering the girls. The player can freely switch their view between different cameras to keep watch over the girls and eavesdrop on conversations to follow the story and listen for clues.
The origins of Night Trap can be traced back to a 1986 prototype game developed by Axlon to demonstrate their Control-Vision game console to Hasbro. The system used VHS tape technology to present movie-like gaming experiences. With the system picked up by Hasbro, production of Night Trap commenced. The video footage was recorded the following year in 1987 and was followed by six months of editing and game programming. Hasbro suddenly canceled the Control-Vision in 1989, which prompted the game's executive producer, Tom Zito, to purchase the film footage and found Digital Pictures to complete its production. Night Trap was eventually released as the first interactive movie on the Sega CD in 1992, five years after filming.
The game received mixed reviews. Critics praised the game's B movie-esque quality, warped humor, and smooth video animation, but criticized the shallow gameplay. The title is particularly notable for being one of the principal subjects of a 1993 United States Senate committee hearing on violent video games, along with Mortal Kombat. Night Trap was cited during the hearing as promoting gratuitous violence and sexual aggression against women, prompting toy retailers to pull the game from shelves that December, and Sega to cease its production entirely the following month. The Senate hearing eventually led to the creation of the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), the North American video game ratings board still used today. After the controversy subsided, Night Trap was re-released and ported to other consoles. These later ports received more harsh reviews due to the aging appeal of full motion video as a game medium. Night Trap was re-released in 2017; commemorating its 25th anniversary.Prime Suspect (1989 film)
Prime Suspect is a 1989 American thriller directed by Bruce Kimmel and produced by Alain Silver and Patrick Regan. Bruce Kimmel also composed the underscore. The film stars Don Blakely, Tom Bresnahan and Ann Dane.Return to Boggy Creek
Return to Boggy Creek is a 1977 adventure/horror film directed by Tom Moore. It is the first sequel to The Legend of Boggy Creek and stars Dawn Wells of Gilligan's Island fame, and Dana Plato of Diff'rent Strokes. Wells portrays the mother of three children who become lost in the swamp during a hurricane until the creature comes to their rescue.
The film carries over none of the original's docudrama elements. It was followed by three additional sequels, Boggy Creek II: And the Legend Continues (1985), Boggy Creek: The Legend Is True (2010) and The Legacy of Boggy Creek (2011); the latter two were released straight-to-video.Shane Bugbee
Shane Bugbee (born November 9, 1968) is an underground artist, publisher, multi-media communicator, filmmaker and event promoter.
He has been criticized for allegedly exploiting the death of Dana Plato of Diff'rent Strokes by releasing a CD recording of her "dying breath".In 1986 he established Michael Hunt Publishing, he began publishing cartoonist Mike Diana during his obscenity trial. Bugbee was a strong supporter of Diana, and acted as his publisher and manager for nearly a decade. Bugbee hosted Diana's first solo art show at Goat Gallery in Chicago in Dec. 1994. From the article: "He's just making graphic what's already in the paper every day," says Bugbee, who got involved when Diana told him he was going to stop publishing. "I said that was horrible," he recalls. "I told him that I would do it, and when they got me and shut me down then someone else would do it." Diana, he confirms, "is very quiet and soft-spoken. He's really ultrasensitive: that's why he chooses the subject matter he does. It really bothers him."
In 1992 Bugbee became an agent of Serial Killer John Wayne Gacy art, eventually publishing Gacy's bio "A Question of Doubt".A self-proclaimed expert in the subject of Serial Killers, Bugbee has spoken extensively on the subject, even touring a collection of artifacts including Ed Geins tombstone. These "side show" style speaking engagements have drawn criticism as exploitive and over the edge. Salem, Ma. Mayor Stanley Usovicz tried to stop one event, calling it "an outrage" after Bugbee displayed Ed Gein's truck in the center of Salem's downtown area.
In 1997 Bugbee and his wife Amy organized "The Expo of the Extreme", a three-day event featuring bands, artists, films, petty criminals, and porn stars. The second installment of "The Expo Of The Extreme" in 1999, was to include Dana Plato as the hostess of an event highlighting Motörhead and Fang, but she died just weeks before the event from an alleged prescription drug suicide.In the course of his work, Bugbee has interviewed various well-known individuals, including TV magician Penn Jillette, and Anton LaVey, the High Priest of the Church of Satan.
Bugbee created his own blueberry soda pop, Ely Soda. The popularity of the soda led to wider revelation of Bugbee's other entrepreneurial and artistic endeavors (via Google searches, etc.), eventually ending in controversy and exile.Bugbee turned his attention to environmental and political concerns. Shane Bugbee was a winner in the Willie Nelson peaceful solution video contest. From Nov. 4 2007 until Nov. 5, 2008 Bugbee, with his wife Amy, embarked on a year long road trip called A Year At The Wheel covering art, politics, religion and revolution which culminated into a book and documentary release .
Bugbee settled in a small beach town in 2008 on SE corner of Washington state after the road trip. Shortly after arriving he began using sculpture as a medium of expression, producing dozens of works which have been exhibited in various shows. He was interviewed about his art in ArtSync magazine in 2011. 
Shane and Amy Bugbee organized a variety show style tour in 2012 called WTF Fest, the tour, which appeared in 5 cities included poet and revolutionary John Sinclair, Star Trek artist Dave Archer, known for painting with a million volt Tesla Coil, scream queen Ruby LaRocca, and Dave Densmore a poet and commercial fisherman. The show included additional musical guests. it received mixed reviews. 
In 2013, Shane and Amy Bugbee turned over all of the materials - footage and writing - from the year long road trip to the Internet Archive. The largest archive in the world.  They also spoke at Harvard University in May 2013 about their travels.
In 2014, Shane Bugbee was involved in the formation of the Satanic Temple, assisting his former protege Doug Mesner develop what was originally set to be a mockumentary about the separation of Church and State, but developed into a religion. Bugbee acted as an advisor until it became clear the group's plans had changed.Additionally in 2014, Shane and a partner developed a concept for an underground news show called "Counterculture". Despite interest from Showtime and other networks, Shane turned his back on the project.  
In October 2015, Shane Bugbee with fellow artist and friend Dave Archer, did a show at AFRU Gallery in Portland, the exhibit titled "Black Magic House Blessings and Fukushima Death Curses" featuring Shane's sculptures and Dave Archer's wood burnings. It received favorable reviews in local press. Silliwood
Silliwood (Silicon Valley and Hollywood) is the term given to various California companies involved with creating CD-ROM computer games based on Hollywood movies, most of which did not appeal to serious gamers in the mid-1990s.Spurred on in large part by the success of CD-ROM games like Myst, these games emphasized flashy production values and big name (or at least, recognizable) actors over gameplay. The unsuccessful games include The Horde (starring Kirk Cameron), A Fork in the Tale (starring Rob Schneider), Night Trap (starring Dana Plato) and several games starring Tim Curry. The successful include the DreamWorks Studios title The Neverhood, the Warner Bros. Edgar Allan Poe game The Dark Eye and The Residents game Bad Day on the Midway, and later Wing Commander games.The term also referred to the advent of computer-generated imagery (CGI) in Hollywood movies.Strain (surname)
Strain is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:
Christina Strain (born 1981), comic book artist (colorist)
Isaac Strain (1821-1857), American/Canadian explorer
Julie Strain (born 1962), American actress and model and musician
Michael G. Strain (born 1958), Commissioner of Agriculture & Forestry in the U.S. state of Louisiana
Rob Strain, NASA Goddard Center director
Ted Strain (1917-1999), Former professional basketball player
Dana Plato, (1964–1999), born Dana Michelle Strain, was an American actress best known for her role in the television series, Diff’rent Strokes
Rev. John Strain, (c. 1733 – 1774), 1757 graduate of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University), was known as one of the most eloquent Presbyterian ministers of colonial Pennsylvania.
John Paul Strain (born 1955), Nashville-born illustrator and artist known for the vivid realism of his paintings of Civil War scenes
Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson (1890–1968), born Malcolm Strain in Greeneville, Tennessee, was a military officer and author of military and western-themed stories and novels, as well as founder of National Allied Publications, which eventually merged to become DC Comics. Actress Dana Wheeler-Nicholson (born 1960) is his granddaughter.
Drucilla Strain, Ziegfeld Girl actress
Joseph Allan Strain, professional baseball player who was an infielder in the Major Leagues from 1979 to 1981 for the Chicago Cubs and San Francisco Giants
Walderus de Stratheihan, 12th century Scottish landownerTodd Bridges
Todd Anthony Bridges (born May 27, 1965) is an American actor and comedian. He is known for his role as Willis Jackson on the sitcom Diff'rent Strokes, for his recurring role as Monk on the sitcom Everybody Hates Chris, and as a comedic commentator, from 2008 to 2013, on the television series TruTV Presents: World's Dumbest....