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The tragic life and sordid death of Dana Plato

I was watching Bio's "Dark Side of Fame" a couple nights ago, and they profiled Dana Plato. She had a horrible life. She was working in a laundromat in Nevada, and ended up robbing it wearing a sad disguise. She drank a gallon of vodka PER DAY and at one point went running half-nude down the street while her son yelled for her to come back. She apparently had a lesbian lover who sold her out to the tabloids. Also, she went on Howard Stern to make a "comeback," got mocked, and died the next day in a trailer in Oklahoma; allegedly, her beau at the time filmed her while dead/dying to try to sell off to the tabs. Her son later committed suicide. Sad,sad, sad.

by Anonymousreply 8212/31/2013

Well there isn't much to be done about it now, is there?

by Anonymousreply 109/19/2011

Thank you for restoring my faith in R1, R1.

by Anonymousreply 209/19/2011

I thought she worked at the laundromat and robbed a nearby video store. Didn't the guy who handed her the money say something like, "I know you! You're Kimberly from DIFF'RENT STROKES. I can't believe you're robbing me!"

by Anonymousreply 309/19/2011

She reminds me of Lindsay Lohan..

by Anonymousreply 409/19/2011

r3 - According to wiki:

[quote]In 1991, Plato ended up in Las Vegas with no work. She took a job at a dry-cleaning store to support herself. On February 28, she entered a video store, produced a gun, and demanded the money from the register. The clerk called 911 saying, "I've just been robbed by the girl who played Kimberly on Diff'rent Strokes". Fifteen minutes after the robbery, Plato returned to the scene and was immediately arrested. The gun was only a pellet gun and the robbery netted Plato $164. Las Vegas entertainer Wayne Newton posted her $13,000 bail.

by Anonymousreply 509/19/2011

I always thought her death was suspicious, but it's not like there'd be any public outcry to investigate it further.

by Anonymousreply 609/19/2011

if she had been smart, she would have worn a Conrad Bain least then people would have paid attention.

by Anonymousreply 709/19/2011

I know it's wrong to speak ill of the dead, but she was quite possibly one of the worst actresses on TV at that time. And that's saying something.

by Anonymousreply 809/19/2011

Why would Wayne Newton post her bail?

by Anonymousreply 909/19/2011

[quote]Why would Wayne Newton post her bail?

[italic]He[/italic] knows!

by Anonymousreply 1009/20/2011

I wonder if she's related to THE Plato?

by Anonymousreply 1109/20/2011

Here's the first part of the Stern interview.

by Anonymousreply 1209/20/2011

Wish I'd thought of that, R11 -- at any time since I first heard of her decades ago.

by Anonymousreply 1309/20/2011

Her son didn't have a chance, the poor kid.

by Anonymousreply 1409/20/2011

I think she robbed the dry cleaners.

by Anonymousreply 1509/20/2011

At least she left behind the legacy of her glorious career.

by Anonymousreply 1609/20/2011

She was on "Sally Jesse" about a year before she died, and was completely smashed. I remember her saying that she used beer instead of shampoo to wash her hair.

Paul Petersen claims that Howard Stern was responsible for killing Plato. That being on his show caused her to overdose. I don't know how much of that is true.

She had a tough life, and she was left to fend for herself as a teenager after her mother passed on. She had no other immediate family.

by Anonymousreply 1709/20/2011

This the way women who were sexually abused as children act.

by Anonymousreply 1809/20/2011

Dana Plato's Last Days 1999

WHET to Maureen O'Boyle on her back?

by Anonymousreply 1909/20/2011

[quote]Why would Wayne Newton post her bail?

At the time, he said it was because he'd been a child star too, and knew how difficult it was.

by Anonymousreply 2009/20/2011

Maybe Michelle Williams can play her in the biopic given that she worked as a laundress.

by Anonymousreply 2109/20/2011

[quote]She had a tough life, and she was left to fend for herself as a teenager after her mother passed on. She had no other immediate family.

She was 24 when her adoptive mother died.

Plato was born Dana Michelle Strain on November 7, 1964, in Maywood, California, to Linda Strain, an unwed 16-year-old, who was already caring for an 18-month-old. Linda Strain put her infant daughter Dana up for adoption. Dean (August 16, 1926 – February 24, 1997) and Florine "Kay" Plato (December 27, 1938 – January 2, 1988)[7] adopted the child in June 1965 and raised her in the San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles County. Her adoptive parents divorced when she was three.

by Anonymousreply 2209/20/2011

Makes you wonder if she slept with Wayne Newton or something. Very sad life though. Howard Stern must feel good about pushing her over the edge, that's the type of person he is.

by Anonymousreply 2309/20/2011

WTF did Howard Stern do to her?

This bitch was already fucked up to the hilt.

by Anonymousreply 2409/20/2011

[quote]Makes you wonder if she slept with Wayne Newton or something.

I know he's a husband & father, but I still doubt that Wayne Newton sleeps with females.

by Anonymousreply 2509/20/2011

She robbed a video store named Lake Video. She was a likeable but manipulative and emotionally disturbed screw ball. I heard a rumor that she was barely able to read. To learn her lines, she needed someone to read them to her. She also had a really hairy pi# with a tattoo next to it. I saw it in her movie, "Different Strokes, the Story of Jack and Jill...and Jill."

by Anonymousreply 2604/20/2012

[quote]She also had a really hairy pi# with a tattoo next to it.

What does "pi#" mean?

Thank you.

by Anonymousreply 2704/20/2012


by Anonymousreply 2804/20/2012

[quote]What does "pi#" mean?

It means her foot, Rose.

by Anonymousreply 2904/20/2012

[quote]Howard Stern must feel good about pushing her over the edge, that's the type of person he is.

What bullshit. She as a nutjob train-wreck. A bad radio interview was the least of her problems.

by Anonymousreply 3004/20/2012

I listened to that interview. I was 19.

by Anonymousreply 3104/20/2012

Those kids were a pain in the ass, but they made me a lotta money so...

by Anonymousreply 3204/20/2012

[quote]that's the type of person he is.

You obviously don't know who Howard Stern is. Nor have you ever listened to his show. That's typical of people with these kinds of opinions.

by Anonymousreply 3304/20/2012

R25, Wayne Newton was a known womanizer in his day.

by Anonymousreply 3404/20/2012

Dana was gorgeous and seemed so sweet on different strokes. The DS kids had a lot of drama after the show ended. What was the set like?

by Anonymousreply 3504/20/2012

She was a terrible actress on the show. Probably because Kimberly wasn't given much to do but also because she just wasn't that good.

She's also the autistic child whom Linda Blair cures in "Exorcist 2."

by Anonymousreply 3604/20/2012

When she went on "Different Strokes" she was very in demand as an actress, including a lot of commercial work. According to Todd Bridges, they both got heavily into the club scene after the show became a hit. The show tried to cover up for them when their behavior was getting into the tabloids, but once Plato got pregnant and married at 18 it killed her image as a kid actor. She really wasn't sophisticated enough to realize there was no coming back from this.The show sent her character permanantly off to college. All she knew how to do was act, but no one would hire her unless it was soft porn type of stuff.

by Anonymousreply 3704/20/2012

I was saw her on Entertainment Tonight after she did Playboy and I specifically remember her complaining about only getting porno deals and it offended her.

by Anonymousreply 3804/20/2012

I lived in Vegas and knew Dana from the Al Phillips dry cleaner. She also hung out at the local 7-11 in near "the Lakes". She was always a bit off - good natured, but had that "crazy" thing going on, always drunk. I told my friend in LA about her working at the cleaners and Sam Rubin helped us sell the story to the National Enquier. Dana actually LOVED the attention. We made $1500 on the deal. True story!

by Anonymousreply 3904/20/2012

There must be more to it than her just getting pregnant. Plenty of actresses have had kids and gone back to work. Even getting pregnant could have been worked into the script by having her going off to college for one season.

by Anonymousreply 4004/20/2012

She did appear periodically in the final season more than she had in the previous season.

by Anonymousreply 4104/20/2012

R40 you have to remember the times. This was 1985, and to have a child at that age was a no-no.

Diff'rent Strokes was a family show, targeted at a youth audience. Back then, what message would be sent by having one of the characters looking pregnant, even if it was hidden from the audience.

It would be the same if Selena Gomez got pregnant, wasn't married, and starring on a Disney show. Oh sure it wouldn't be a big deal. But now way would Disney have her continue her show. They would probably put the show on hiatus and wait for her to have the baby, and then have her go back to work.

by Anonymousreply 4204/20/2012

What happened with Jamie-Lynn Spears? She was pregnant while starring on her show.

Did they put the show on hiatus while she was pregnant? I seriously doubt she continued while she was pregnant.

by Anonymousreply 4304/20/2012

Dana wanted to become a "singer" and married that loser Lanny, the father of her kid. This guy was an opportunistic ass who wanted to ride on her fame to start a rock band. Dana was young and dumb, not a good combo. Last I heard, Lanny lives in LA and I believe sells cars for a living. Different Stokes had Dana back a few times when the ratings started to slide. Last ditch effort for NBC and Plato - her real downfall was being allegedly ripped off by a manager. I still find that hard to believe, it has never really been proven. I think she just pissed away her money.

by Anonymousreply 4404/20/2012

The show moved to ABC in its last season

by Anonymousreply 4504/20/2012

I think it was because the show was aimed at kids. Unmarried teen pregnancy was the type of topic they preached against. They could have tried to cover it up but the tabloids got the story and ran with it.

On the other hand, it helped get the show a free burst of publicity AND saved the production money by losing a main cast member. The show had been sinking in the ratings and Kimberly had never had much to do so the producers were probably secretly glad to be rid of her.

by Anonymousreply 4604/20/2012

What r36 said.

I can't believe no one sat her down and told her she simply was not going to make it as an adult actress, and that she should try something else. She wanted to be famous because she didn't know how to do anything else. And her legacy to her son was to check out of life if it doesn't go the way you want it to.

by Anonymousreply 4704/20/2012

A good idea R47, but she was not one to sit still and listen attentively to logical alternatives, let alone, comprehend them.

by Anonymousreply 4804/20/2012

I was friends with Dana and was there when she got the call for DS. We worked 3rd period in the counselors office at Sutter Jr High in Winnetka, Ca. Her mom called the office and told her she got the job. She was so happy. I remember it to this day. She was a very sweet and kind person. Yes she was popular but she wasn't a cunty or bitchy popular girl. She was friendly to everyone. That's who she was. We lost touch during our high school years but I still have fond memories of her.

by Anonymousreply 4904/20/2012

Dana seemed like a very damaged person.

Howard Stern can be an asshole, but he did not kill her.

Maybe after she heard the interview with Stern, she figured life wasn't going to get any better, so why not end it.

by Anonymousreply 5004/20/2012

It's a shame she didn't stick around longer. Her life would have made a great reality show.

by Anonymousreply 5112/02/2012

Howard Stern drove an icepick into her occipital lobe.

Say that Howard Stern is anything less than a saint - it gets his troll army to froth and quiver!

by Anonymousreply 5212/02/2012

It was wrong of him to go after an untreated bipolar and yes, he is sophisticated enough to have seen her condition.

by Anonymousreply 5312/02/2012

I remember in the fall of 1999 Fox did a dramatic "re-enactment" of Dana Plato's last days. Stern complained about the way he was portrayed in it, which was kind of damning.

by Anonymousreply 5412/02/2012

It's a sad "if/then" scenario. IF she had not been so fucked up THEN she could have continued her career, at least with some more respectable choices and with self-esteem. So many child stars are fucked up, it has become the norm. A cliche, even. She is just one more casualty in a long line of them, starting with Michael Jackson on down to Robert Blake (who was in the Little Rascals). She would have been competing with every OTHER adult, blonde pretty actress for roles once she reached adulthood but she might have done lots of other things besides porn. I mean, there were always Love Boats and Fantasy Islands and game shows, for chrissake. A better manager would have helped. Better all round life choices. But girl was fucked up. Bad. And her choices did her in.

by Anonymousreply 5512/02/2012

[quote]What does "pi#" mean?

She had a hairy pie pound.

by Anonymousreply 5612/02/2012

I like people like Dana Plato because they make me feel good about myself.

by Anonymousreply 5701/28/2013

like ALL of them -- sexually abused as a child.

by Anonymousreply 5801/28/2013

I'm sure teen girls who acted on tv shows got pregnant, but they had the sense to get an abortion in a very quiet doctor's office.

by Anonymousreply 5901/28/2013

[quote]This the way women who were sexually abused as children act.

Just what are you trying to say, R18?

by Anonymousreply 6001/28/2013

R39, you must be so proud of yourself! Do you pimp as well?

by Anonymousreply 6101/28/2013

Dana was related to Mickey Mouse's gay dog.

by Anonymousreply 6201/28/2013

Did anyone ever sit her down and seriously talk to her about giving up acting?? Seems like she was surrounded by a bunch of losers and users who only wanted part of her dwindling fame.

by Anonymousreply 6301/28/2013

What happened to her son and how old was he?

by Anonymousreply 6401/28/2013

Her son committed suicide in 2010, he was around 25.

I agree with the above posters about it being too bad nobody ever sat child actors like Dana Plato, Corey Haim etc. down and said "look, you are never going to have an acting career as an adult. It's over. You need to go back to school and learn some skill so you can have a decent life." So many of them really need/needed to hear that.

by Anonymousreply 6501/28/2013

I heard recently that Dana Plato's Winnebago that she died in is up for sale. Does anyone know if it sold? I would love to buy it and follow the route that she and Robert Menchaca drove including a stay at Magnolia Beach Campground, ending with parking in front of the house on Nottingham Way where she committed suicide. I know that she liked to play the slots at Lakes Lounge in Las Vegas. I would also like to know which apartment she lived in, where the Video store was located that she held up, and also the dry cleaners where she worked as well as the 7-11 where she hung out drunk all the time. Dana was the coolest.

by Anonymousreply 6602/01/2013

I know that Dana and Kim Richards worked together when Hello Larry was on the air. I wonder if the two of them hung out or got along.

by Anonymousreply 6702/03/2013

R67 there was a Hello Larry 2 part crossover episode during the first season of DS, not only was Kim Richards on it but so was Donna Wilkes(WEHT).

The most interestin thing about the 2 part episode from 1979 was the fact that Mrs. Garrett's sister is mentioned by name a whole 7 years before Cloris Leachman would be cast as the character during the later years of the Facts of Life.

I love continuity like that, I was really shocked when I watched the rerun a couple of weeks ago on DVD, and Kimberly asked Mrs. Garrett if she's going to visit her sister Beverly Ann.

by Anonymousreply 6802/03/2013

r39 is one of the most pathetic posters on DL.

by Anonymousreply 6902/03/2013

Unlike Lindsay, Dana never had chance after chance to redeem herself. She was pretty much written off after Different Strokes. She did get her life together after the Video store incident for a few years. She had found her natural birth mom and had gotten sober. Unfortunately, it didn't last.

This is why Lindsay needs to get her shit together and realize that she's had way more opportunites than most former child stars have ever been afforded in the business.

by Anonymousreply 7002/03/2013

I wonder if Dana Plato were around today what she'd be doing.

I used to love Kim Richards. I had watched her interviewed on the extra for the "Devil Dog: Hound of Hell" DVD and she was completely smashed. So sad. I can't stand the was she looks now on that Real Housewives show.

by Anonymousreply 7102/03/2013

I loved Dana Plato. I got some information. The Lakes Lounge is located at 2920 Lake E Dr, Las Vegas, NV 89117. It is here that Dana would drink and play the nickle slots. It was just a few doors down to the left where at 2928 Lake E Dr, Las Vegas, that she robbed Lake Video. Strange because this was her stomping ground. She was at the bar all the time. So its strange to rob a store just a few doors down. The store is closed now, and for a while was replaced with the Nevada Theatre Company, located at 2928... Its closed now too. You can go to street view on Google to see where sweet Dana used to hang out. I think I can almost picture her staggering out of the Lakes Lounge Bar. I love wild women. She didn't know how wonderful she was.

by Anonymousreply 7202/05/2013

"Makes you wonder if she slept with Wayne Newton or something."

Uh huh, because Newton is such a pussyound.

by Anonymousreply 7302/05/2013

R72 Do you happened to have the location of where she lived in Los Angeles while she was on Diff'rent Strokes?

by Anonymousreply 7402/05/2013

Lakes Lounge gets great reviews. The photos show it to be a friendly, fun-filled place.

I want to go there and try the steak sandy! I wonder if LL did a remodel before Plato dies, she would have found the will to live.

by Anonymousreply 7502/05/2013

r74 are you the guy from find a death? I love your site

by Anonymousreply 7602/05/2013

still miss her.

by Anonymousreply 7712/18/2013

[quote]She was working in a laundromat in Nevada

So what? I was working at a bridal shop in Flushing, Queens.

by Anonymousreply 7812/18/2013

The Howard Stern interview wasn't nice but it wasn't particularly brutal either.

by Anonymousreply 7912/18/2013

Kisses to R78!

by Anonymousreply 8012/18/2013

Her son was cute.

When I was a little kid, I thought her last name was Playdough.

by Anonymousreply 8112/19/2013

Anyone who blames Howard Stern for Dana's death is fucking NUTS!

by Anonymousreply 8212/31/2013
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