Dana Plato

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Dana Plato
Birth name Dana Michelle Plato
Born November 7, 1964 in Maywood, California, USA
Died May 8, 1999 in Moore, Oklahoma, USA from suicide by overdose
Notable Roles Kimberly Drummond in Diff'rent Strokes
Notable Episodes



Starring Roles

Series Role Year(s) Season(s)
Diff'rent Strokes Kimberly Drummond 1978–1984 1 2 3 4 5 6

Guest Starring Roles

Series Role Episode Airdate
The Six Million Dollar Man Girl 2x19 - The Bionic Woman (1) March 16, 1975
Family Mary Beth Sanders 2x03 - Home Movie October 26, 1976
What Really Happened to the Class of '65? 1x09 - The Most Likely to Succeed February 9, 1978
The Facts of Life Kimberly Drummond 1x01 - Rough Housing August 24, 1979
CHiPs Darla 3x23 - Nightingale March 23, 1980
Family Debbie 5x13 - Letting Go June 25, 1980
The Love Boat Patty Springer 8x13 - My Mother, My Chaperone / The Present / The Death and Life of Sir Alfred Demerest / Welcome Aboard December 1, 1984
Diff'rent Strokes Kimberly Drummond 7x16 - Harry Birthday Drummond January 26, 1985
Growing Pains Lisa 1x06 - Mike's Madonna Story November 5, 1985
Diff'rent Strokes Kimberly Drummond 7x24 - A Special Friend May 4, 1985
Diff'rent Strokes Kimberly Drummond 8x04 - Love on the Run October 11, 1985
Diff'rent Strokes Kimberly Drummond 8x13 - Bulimia January 17, 1986

Specials and Made-for-TV Movies

Title Role Airdate Series/Banner
Schoolboy Father Daisy Dallenger October 15, 1980 ABC Afterschool Specials
High School USA Cara Ames October 16, 1983 NBC Sunday Night at the Movies

Awards and Accolades

Young Artist Awards

(3 Nominations)


  • Was born to an unwed teenage mother and adopted by Dean & Kay Plato when she was 7 months old
  • Dana's adoptive parents divorced when she was 3 years old and she lived with her mother
  • Had a younger sister, Heidi.
  • Reportedly appeared in over 100 commercials
  • Was an accomplished figure skater
  • Attended Sutter Jr. High in Winnetka, California in 1978
  • Overdosed on diazepam when she was 14 years old
  • Married her husband, rock guitarist Lanny Lambert in 1984; they had one son: Tyler (born in July of 1984); they divorced in 1990
  • Was written off "Diff'rent Strokes" when she was pregnant because the producers felt that a pregnancy wouldn't fit the show's wholesome image; she did return on the show as a guest star
  • Obtained breast implants in order to boost her career
  • Her adoptive mother died of scleroderma in 1988
  • Was arrested in February of 1991 for robbing a video store
  • Almost 11 years after Dana's death, her son, Tyler committed suicide at the age of 25.
  • Died a few days after the severe weather outbreak in Oklahoma.