Dana Michelle Plato was an American actress who was notable for having played the role of Kimberly Drummond on the U.S. television sitcom Diff’rent Strokes from 1978 to 1986. Plato was born Dana Michelle Strain on November 7, 1964 in Maywood, California, to Linda Strain, an unwed teenager who was already caring for an 18-month-old child. Seven months after her birth, in June 1965, she was adopted by Dean Plato, who owned a trucking company, and his wife Florine “Kay” Plato. She was raised in the San Fernando Valley. When she was three, her adoptive parents divorced, and she lived with her mother.
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 also 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.