Dana Michelle Plato (born Dana Michelle Strain; November 7, 1964 – May 8, 1999) was an American actress and model, who was best known for her works in television and film throughout the 1970s and 1980s.
Plato began her career at a young age, appearing in commercials before making her official debut as an actress in the horror film Return to Boggy Creek. The following year, she was then cast as a main character on the U.S. television sitcom Diff’rent Strokes as Kimberly Drummond, which aired from 1978 to 1986. The show turned out to be an instant hit, being one of the longest running television shows of its time, and brought much credibility and fame to Plato.
After leaving the show, Plato attempted to establish herself as a working actress, with mixed success; she worked sporadically in made-for-TV movies and in independent films, as well as doing voice-over work. She also reached out into other ventures, including modelling for a Playboy magazine as well as appearing in the video game Night Trap as the main role.
Plato was nominated for three Young Artist Awards and also received two TV Land Award nominations given to the cast of Diff’rent Strokes. She died in 1999 from an overdose of prescription drugs at the age of 34 after years of struggling with poverty and substance abuse.