Short Info

Date Of BirthNovember 7, 1964
DiedMay 8, 1999, Moore, Oklahoma, United States
SpouseLanny Lambert
FactAttended Sutter Jr. High in Winnetka, CA (1978).

Dana Michelle Plato was born on November 7, 1964, in Maywood, California, to Linda Strain, a 16-year-old single mother. Plato’s father, Keith Strain, was never involved in her life. Plato was mostly raised by her mother and grandmother, Virginia Cook. Plato began her acting career at age 12 when she landed the role of Kimberly Drummond on the sitcom Diff’rent Strokes (1978-1986). Plato played the older sister and caretaker of two young African-American boys who were adopted by a wealthy white man. The show was a huge success and made Plato a household name.

Plato’s career took a turn in 1988 when she was arrested for robbing a video store with a fake gun. She pleaded no contest and was sentenced to probation and community service. The following year, Plato was arrested again for forging a prescription for Valium. She pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 10 days in jail and ordered to undergo drug rehabilitation.

Plato’s career never recovered from her legal troubles and she struggled with drug addiction for the rest of her life. In 1999, she was arrested for driving under the influence of drugs and spent four months in jail. In 2000, Plato died of an accidental drug overdose at the age of 35.

General Info

Full NameDana Plato
Date Of BirthNovember 7, 1964
DiedMay 8, 1999, Moore, Oklahoma, United States
Height1.57 m
EducationWilliam Howard Taft Charter High School


SpouseLanny Lambert
ChildrenTyler Lambert
ParentsFlorine Plato, Linda Strain, Dean Plato
SiblingsHeidi Plato


NominationsTV Land Quintessential Non-Traditional Family Award
TV ShowsDiff'rent Strokes

Social profile links


1I wanted this to have as wide an audience as possible. I didn't want to get an X rating, because in my opinion once that happens you X-out everyone else.
2I'm open-minded. I don't consider myself gay or hetero, I just am. I've had experiences all over the planet but it always comes down to just me, but I think at this point if I had an ongoing relationship I believe it would be with a man.
3Nobody knows what a woman feels or experiences but another woman. We are the nurturers and there are times when we need to be nurtured.
4I'm okay in my skin, you know... I'm okay with who I am.
5With women and women, I think there's an understanding. Nobody knows what a woman feels or experiences but another woman. We are the nurturers, and there are times when we need to be nurtured.
6I'd hopefully work through all my issues with men first so then I'd be okay being with a woman.
7I like to go with the energy because when you ignore it that's when you start doing things wrong.
8I have been sober for the longest time. Oh, it's over a decade now. No joke.
9People have an awful lot of problems that society has put on them and a lot to work through because of it.
10If it feels right and I'm not going against any energy in myself or the situation, there would be no limit.
11I've got to be honest, there's no pleasure when you're working.
12I'm learning to play by the rules. I sort of hate to think of it that way, but that's how it is. I'm really learning to function out there and in such a way that I don't need to drink.
13All that money stuff was so strange; all it ever meant to me was freedom from worry. I'm happier now than I've ever been but I still wish I had that money.
14In my opinion it's not about gay or straight or bi, we're attracted to spirits, whatever body they're in. There are other reasons too, but that's how I see it.
15I've learned through experience that life is never that bad. The secret is just paying attention to how you feel and not letting anyone else dictate what in your heart you know is right.
16Growing up, all I did was work and vacation, but I loved it, no one pushed me into anything. The thing was I developed no special skills. I don't have any resentment because I am a performer and I've always felt that, but it did take its toll socially.
17I'm tired of defending my character. I am what I am. What you see is what you get.
18I think the whole nerves thing comes into play when we worry about what other people and society will think.


1She played the same character (Kimberly Drummond) in three different series: Diff'rent Strokes (1978), Hello, Larry (1979) and The Facts of Life (1979).
2Mother of Tyler Lambert. Lambert committed suicide via a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head on May 6, 2010, two days before the 11th anniversary of his mother's death.
3Has a younger sister, Heidi Plato.
4Tested for the role of Princess Leia Organa in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977).
5Auditioned for the role of Regan MacNeil in The Exorcist (1973).
6Was #91 on VH-1's The Greatest: 100 Greatest Kid Stars (2005).
7Won the part of Violet in the movie Pretty Baby (1978), but turned it down, so she wouldn't be typecast in this type of role. Brooke Shields ended up playing the part.
8Had breast implants done in 1994 in hopes of landing better film roles.
9Childhood dream was to be an Olympic figure skater.
10Was fired from Diff'rent Strokes (1978) at the end of the 1983-1984 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.
11Birth mother's name is Linda Strain.
12Was adopted.
13Attended Sutter Jr. High in Winnetka, CA (1978).
14Arrested for forging a valium prescription in 1992.
15Arrested for armed robbery in 1991.




Pacino Is Missing2002Prosecuting Attorney
Silent Scream1999Emma Jones
Desperation Boulevard1998Dana Plato
The Hostage1998
Different Strokes1998VideoJill Martin
Tiger1997Andrea Baker
Blade Boxer1997VideoRita
Millenium Day1995
Lethal Cowboy1995Elizabeth
Compelling Evidence1995Dana Fields
Bikini Beach Race1992J. D.
The Sounds of Silence1992Deborah Nichols
Night Trap1992Video GameKelly
Prime Suspect1989Diana Masters
Diff'rent Strokes1978-1986TV SeriesKimberly Drummond
Growing Pains1985TV SeriesLisa
The Love Boat1984TV SeriesPatty Springer
High School U.S.A.1983TV MovieCara Ames
A Step in Time1981TV Movie
ABC Afterschool Specials1980TV SeriesDaisy Dallenger
Family1976-1980TV SeriesDebbie / Mary Beth Sanders
CHiPs1979-1980TV SeriesKim / Dana Plato
Hello, Larry1979TV SeriesKimberly Drummond
The Facts of Life1979TV SeriesKimberly Drummond
California Suite1978Jenny
What Really Happened to the Class of '65?1978TV Series
Exorcist II: The Heretic1977Sandra Phalor (uncredited)
Return to Boggy Creek1977Evie Jo
Beyond the Bermuda Triangle1975TV MovieWendy
The Six Million Dollar Man1975TV SeriesGirl


TV Guide's Truth Behind the Sitcom Scandals 22000TV Movie documentaryHerself
E! True Hollywood Story1998TV Series documentaryHerself
Vibe1997TV SeriesHerself
The Best of Ed's Night Party1996VideoHerself
The Word1994TV SeriesHerself
Sally Jessy Raphael1989-1991TV SeriesHerself
The Arsenio Hall Show1989TV SeriesHerself
Kraft Salutes Walt Disney World's 10th Anniversary1982TV SpecialDaughter
Circus of the Stars #61981TV SpecialHerself
Circus of the Stars #51980TV Special documentaryHerself - Performer
The Hollywood Squares1979TV SeriesGuest Appearance

Archive Footage

The Tragic Side of Fame2011TV MovieHerself
Biography2009TV Series documentaryHerself
The O'Reilly Factor2008TV SeriesKimberly Drummond
The Child Star Jinx2005TV Movie documentary
Retrosexual: The 80's2004TV Mini-Series documentaryHerself
The Kid Stays in the Picture2002DocumentaryHerself (uncredited)
The 51st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards1999TV SpecialHerself - Memorial Tribute
E! True Hollywood Story1999TV Series documentaryHerself


Nominated Awards

2004TV Land AwardTV Land AwardsQuintessential Non-Traditional FamilyDiff'rent Strokes (1978)
2003TV Land AwardTV Land AwardsQuintessential Non-Traditional FamilyDiff'rent Strokes (1978)
1984Young Artist AwardYoung Artist AwardsBest Young Actress in a Comedy SeriesDiff'rent Strokes (1978)
1982Young Artist AwardYoung Artist AwardsBest Young Actress in a Television SpecialA Step in Time (1981)
1981Young Artist AwardYoung Artist AwardsBest Young Actress in a Television SeriesDiff'rent Strokes (1978)

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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