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Dana Plato Diff'rent Strokes Autographed Signed 8x10 Photo COA #1 DECEASED

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~~Great looking 8x10 glossy photo autographed by "Kimberly Drummond"...Dana Plato...DECEASED. 

Dana Plato, actress who played "Kimberly Drummond" during the classic 1978 television series, "Diff'rent Strokes", signed this 8x10 color photo with a black Sharpie.  Dana was born on November 7, 1964 in Maywood, California and passed away on May 8, 1999 in Moore, Oklahoma as a result of a drug overdose. 

This is a classic autographed photo from a classic television series.  Whether you are a Dana Plato fan and/or a "Diff'rent Strokes" fan, this is one autographed photo that should be in your own personal collection.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia...

Dana Michelle Plato (November 7, 1964 – May 8, 1999) was an American actress who became famous playing the role of Kimberly Drummond in the U.S. television sitcom Diff'rent Strokes. Plato's career declined after her departure from the show, with appearances in low-budget films, including some softcore pornography. She had longstanding personal problems and died from an overdose of prescription medication on May 8, 1999. [1]

Childhood

Plato was born on November 7, 1964 (some sources state November 1, 1963), in Maywood, California to Linda Strain, an unwed mother who was 16 at the time of Dana's birth and was already caring for an 18-month-old child. Strain put her infant daughter up for adoption and in June 1965, Dean and Florine "Kay" Plato adopted the child,[2] raising her in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles. She attended Sutter Jr. High School in Canoga Park, California.[3]

 

Career in television and film

Kay Plato began taking her to auditions when she was very young. By the age of 7, Dana began doing television commercials, reportedly appearing in over 100 spots for companies as diverse as Kentucky Fried Chicken, Dole, and Atlantic Richfield. [4] She claimed she was offered two highly sought-after movie roles: the part of possessed child Regan MacNeil in the 1973 film, The Exorcist, and the starring role in Louis Malle's 1978 film, Pretty Baby. Kay Plato, it was said, vetoed both jobs, either fearing her daughter would be typecast, or subjected to unsavory subject matters.[5] Plato herself appears to have been the source for these oft-repeated casting stories. Exorcist author William Peter Blatty, who also wrote the screenplay for the film, said in the book Former Child Stars: The Story of America's Least Wanted that he had "no such recollection" of Plato being offered the role.

Plato made her film debut in Return to Boggy Creek. Other credits include California Suite and Exorcist II: The Heretic.[6]

Dana trained as a figure skater and was quite accomplished. She was training for a possible Olympic team spot (she later claimed that she qualified for the team).[7] At the same time, however, she was spotted by a television producer during a brief appearance on The Gong Show[8] and won what would become her most famous acting role. According to Dana, Kay Plato decided she should cut back on her skating to focus on her portrayal of Kimberly Drummond on Diff'rent Strokes.

 

Diff'rent Strokes

Main article: Diff'rent Strokes

In 1978, Diff'rent Strokes debuted on NBC. The show concerned Phillip Drummond (Conrad Bain), a wealthy white widower in New York who adopted two young black boys after their parents died. Plato played Kimberly, the teenage daughter of Drummond and the older sister of the two adopted boys, Willis (Todd Bridges) and Arnold (Gary Coleman).

The show was an immediate hit. Even though she was a supporting character, Plato claimed to have made up to US$100,000 an episode during its peak.[9] (Some sources suggest, however, that US$22,000 might be a more representative figure.[10])

Plato appeared on the show until 1984. During that year, she got pregnant by her boyfriend, a musician named Lanny Lambert.[11] The producers of Diff'rent Strokes did not feel that a pregnancy would fit the show's wholesome image, so Plato was let go. Although rumors of drug use and other "problems on the set" swirled around her dismissal, the producers were adamant that the pregnancy was the only reason her character was written out. Plato actually returned for several appearances during the show's final season, which appeared on ABC, including an episode in which Kimberly suffers the effects of bulimia.[12]

 

Career after Diff'rent Strokes

After leaving Diff'rent Strokes in 1984, Plato attempted to establish herself as a serious actress, but found it difficult to step out of the long shadows cast by her sitcom career. After her child was born, she had breast implants and appeared in a 1989 Playboy pictorial, but her career remained in the doldrums. She started taking roles in such B-movies as Bikini Beach Race and Lethal Cowboy, while more respectable roles eluded her.[6]

In 1992, Plato was one of the first celebrities to star in a video game. The game, Night Trap, was universally panned by critics and attracted much controversy over a scene of a girl in a nightgown being killed, although that scene was considered to have been in the comedic vein of the entire game. Plato's career took another hit from the attitudes toward the game.[13]

In 1994, Plato underwent additional plastic surgery to further enhance her breasts, in the hopes of landing more significant film roles.[14] She also acquired several tattoos, including a dove on her left back shoulder, a winged fairy and a star above her groin, and flowers on her feet.[15]

Toward the end of her career, Plato chose roles that could be considered erotic or even softcore pornography. She appeared partially nude in Prime Suspect (1988) and Compelling Evidence (1995), but her most infamous picture is 1998's Different Strokes: The Story of Jack and Jill...and Jill. The movie's title was changed after shooting to tie it to Plato's famous past, but was not connected in any way to the sitcom other than through her involvement. Plato played a lesbian, and the film was rated X due to sexual content, but it was not considered hardcore pornography.[16] Plato would appear in only one more film.

 

Troubled personal life

Plato began having drug and alcohol problems early in life. At age 14, she overdosed on Valium. She also, by her own admission, drank and used recreational drugs during her years on Diff'rent Strokes.

In 1988, Plato's adoptive mother, Kay, died from scleroderma. Shortly thereafter, Plato's marriage to Lanny Lambert began to fall apart. The couple officially divorced in 1990, with Lambert getting custody of their only child, Tyler (born 1985). During this time, Plato posed nude for Playboy, appearing in the June 1989 issue. The issue was also notable for featuring Hugh Hefner's new wife, Kimberley Conrad.[17]

In 1991, Plato found herself in Las Vegas with no work. She took a job at a dry-cleaning store to support herself. One day, she entered a video store, produced a gun, and demanded the money from the register. She was arrested minutes later. Las Vegas entertainer Wayne Newton posted her US$13,000 bail bond.[18] Plato was given five years probation.[19] The gun was only a pellet gun and the robbery netted Plato less than US$200. She made headlines and became part of the national debate over troubled child stars, particularly given the difficulties of her Diff'rent Strokes co-stars, Gary Coleman and Todd Bridges. Plato was placed on probation, but in January 1992, she was again arrested, this time for forging a prescription for Valium.[20] She served 30 days in jail for violation of the terms of her probation and entered drug rehab immediately thereafter.

Following her appearance in the erotic film Different Strokes: The Story of Jack and Jill...and Jill, Plato appeared on the cover of the lesbian lifestyle magazine, Girlfriends, in 1998. She was interviewed by Diane Anderson-Minshall and came out as a lesbian, although she later recanted. It was reported that Plato showed up drunk for the magazine's cover shoot.[21]

In her interview with Howard Stern, Plato mentioned that the traumatic events of her mother's death and her husband leaving her took place during the course of only a week. In desperation, she signed over power of attorney to an accountant who absconded with the majority of her money, leaving her with no more than US$150,000. She claimed that the accountant was never found, despite an exhaustive search, and had stolen a grand total of more than US$11 million of other people's money, as well.[22]

Just before her death, she and her fiancé, Robert Menchaca, were living in an RV in Navarre, Florida.[23]

 

Final interview and death

On May 7, 1999, Plato appeared on The Howard Stern Show, where she told Stern and Robin Quivers that she was engaged to the 28-year-old Robert Menchaca, and that he was managing her career. She was frank about her situation, discussing her financial problems and past run-ins with the law. She admitted to being a recovering alcoholic/drug addict, but claimed that she had been sober for more than ten years by that point, and was not using any drugs, with the exception of prescribed painkillers due to discomfort and pain from the recent extraction of her wisdom teeth. Many of her callers called her everything from a "has been" to an addict. She was referred to by one caller as a "ex-con lesbian drug addict with mental problems". This provoked a defiant Plato, as she offered to take a drug test on the air (and even place a large wager on the results of the test to one particularly doubtful caller). Some callers, however, came to Plato's defense by consoling and complimenting her. Plato cried while offering her gratitude. Stern later mentioned that she was scheduled to appear at a concert event, The Expo of the Extreme, in Chicago two weeks after the interview.[24] However, her appearance would not take place as planned.

The next day, Plato and Menchaca were returning to California, hoping to revive her stagnant career. The couple stopped at Menchaca's mother's home in Moore, Oklahoma (coincidentally, the birthplace of another Diff'rent Strokes cast member, Danny Cooksey) for a Mother's Day visit. Plato went to lie down inside her recreational vehicle parked outside the house and subsequently died of an overdose from Vanadom (Soma) and Vicodin. Her death at age 34 was eventually ruled a suicide. Subsequently both Gary Coleman and Todd Bridges, who remained friends with Plato after Diff'rent Strokes, have said they do not believe she intended to kill herself, and that they believe it was an accidental overdose.

Much confusion remains about her precise age. Oklahoma authorities, presumably taking the information from Plato's Florida driver's license, determined her birthdate to be November 1, 1963, making her 35 when she died, while many news sources reported that she was born on November 7, 1964. Plato claimed that she was 34 years old at one point during her Howard Stern appearance, which took place one day before she died. Her body was cremated and her ashes were scattered over the Pacific Ocean.

 

Legacy

She ranked at #91 on VH1's 100 Greatest Kid Stars.

She was also mentioned on E!'s 50 Greatest Child Stars.

The word, "MCVIKES" will not appear on your photo.  This autographed photo was placed inside a plastic page, the label was placed on top of the plastic page and this photo was then scanned.  If you buy it, you will like it. 

Lifetime guarantee in regards to this autographed photo which also comes with a COA from Gearhart Enterprises, Inc. Member of the UACC. UACC Registered Dealer #RD189.