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Tuesday, September 20, 2005 Bookmark Now! | Email to a friend  

What ever happened to the cast of 'Different strokes'

Dana Michelle Plato (Kimberley)

(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 was born in Maywood, California and grew up in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles.

Plato was dismissed from Diff'rent Strokes when she became pregnant as it wouldn't have suited her character, but she returned to the show for several cameo appearances after her pregnancy. Her career slumped after the show, with appearances in low-budget films, including some soft-core pornography, and in some minor roles in made for TV movies. She had a starring role in the pioneering and wildly controversial live action video game Night Trap in 1992. She also had repeated drug and alcohol problems.

Plato appeared partially nude in Prime Suspect (1988), Compelling Evidence (1995), and Different Strokes: The story of Jack and Jill... and Jill (1997), a softcore movie unrelated to her TV series. She was also the feature of a Playboy pictorial in 1989.

Her one year marriage to Lanny Lambert produced a son, Tyler Lambert (born 1985). She was arrested in 1991 for robbing a video store in Las Vegas, but was placed on probation. The following year Plato was arrested again, this time for forging a prescription for Valium.

In 1999 she and Robert Menchaca, her fiancé, were returning to California following Plato's appearance on the Howard Stern show, hoping to revive her stagnant career. They stopped at Menchaca's mother's home in Moore, Oklahoma for a Mother's Day visit, where she died of an overdose from Vanadom (carisoprodol) and Vicodin (hydrocodone). Her death was subsequently ruled a suicide. Of the child stars on Diff'rent Strokes, Plato got into the most trouble. The other child stars Gary Coleman and Todd Bridges are still alive.

Gary Coleman (Arnold)

Gary Coleman as a ChildGary Coleman (born February 8, 1968 in Zion, Illinois) is an American actor.

Coleman is most famous for the role of Arnold Jackson on Different Strokes, an American sitcom which ran on NBC from 1978 to 1985 and then switched to ABC. He was particularly famous for his catch phrase, "Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, Willis?", delivered to his character's older brother Willis Jackson (Todd Bridges).

Coleman was born with a congenital kidney disease causing nephritis (an autoimmune destruction of the kidney), which halted his growth at an early age, leading to a notably small stature (4' 8") which became his most distinguishing feature. Coleman has had two kidney transplants, one in 1973 and one in 1984, and requires constant

During the run of the show Coleman was a popular figure, starring in a number of feature films and made-for-TV movies including On the Right Track, and The Kid With the Broken Halo. The Kid With the Broken Halo eventually served as the basis for the Hanna-Barbera produced animated series The Gary Coleman Show from 1982.

Gary Coleman February 28, 2005At the height of his fame on Different Strokes, Coleman earned $70,000 per episode. As he grew older, however, he fell from public favour and, after the cancellation of Diff'rent Strokes, his acting career declined sharply.

Coleman famously sued his own parents and manager over misappropriation of his $3.8 million trust fund, and won a $1,280,000 ruling on February 23, 1993. The basis for the lawsuit was that using the trust fund, his parents had accumulated $770,000 for themselves, leaving Gary only $220,000. He briefly owned a video game arcade in
Fisherman's Village in Marina del Rey, near Santa Monica, California. Despite this, Coleman filed for bankruptcy in 1999. In 2001, he was employed as a shopping mall security guard in the Los Angeles area (a video of him trying to stop a vehicle from entering a compound while the driver ridiculed him was a popular Internet phenomenon). He occasionally is able to cash in on his camp value to members of
Generation X, by appearing in cameo roles. As with Knight Rider, Rubik's Cube, Care Bears, the Smurfs and other artifacts from the early 1980s, Coleman's popularity coincided with the childhood of a particularly productive demographic of internet users, and he is, as of 2004, a minor cult figure.

Coleman appeared in court on November 2, 2000, charged with assault. He was ordered to pay bus driver Tracy Fields $1,665 for hospital bills resulting from a fight, stemming from an attempt by Fields to get Coleman's autograph whilst he was shopping for a bulletproof vest in a California mall. Coleman said he felt "threatened by her
insistence" and punched her in the head.

Coleman was a candidate for governor in the 2003 California recall election. This campaign was sponsored by the free newsweekly the East Bay Express as a satirical comment on the recall. After Arnold Schwarzenegger announced his candidacy, Coleman stated that he would be voting for Schwarzenegger. Coleman placed 8th in a field of 135 candidates, receiving 14,242 votes.

Since the recall elections, Coleman has been starring in a TV commercial for a short term loan company in the Los Angeles market.

Coleman is a character (not an actor) in the hit 2003 Broadway musical, Avenue Q, which won the 2004 Tony Award. In the musical, Coleman is portrayed by actress Natalie Venetia Belcon.

In 2004, Coleman played a supporting role in the controversial computer game Postal² by Running With Scissors, Inc.

He recently made an appearance in John Cena's video, Bad, Bad Man.

In June 2005, VH1 named Gary Coleman No. 1 on its list of the top 100 child stars ever.

Diff'rent Strokes (1978-1986)
The Kid From Left Field (1979)
Lucy Moves To NBC (1980)
The Kid With The Broken Halo (1982)
The Gary Coleman Show (1982)
Jimmy The Kid (1982)
The Kid With The 200 IQ (1983)
Playing With Fire (1985)
Amazing Stories (1985)
Simon & Simon (1986)
It's Howdy Doody Time (1987)
227 (1990)
Ben Stiller Show (1992)
The Jackie Thomas Show (1993)
S.F.W (1994)
Married With Children (1994, 1996)
Martin (1995)
Saturday Night Live (1995)
Mad TV (1995, 1998)
Fresh Prince Of Bel Air (1996)
Shasta McNasty (1999)
The Simpsons (1999 (once), 2000 (twice))
Chasing The Edge (2004)
The Simpsons (1999 (once), 2000 (twice))

Todd Bridges (Willy)

Todd BridgesTodd A. Bridges (born May 27, 1965 in San Francisco, California) is an American actor. Bridges initially gained fame for his role as Willis Jackson on the television show Diff'rent Strokes from 1978 to 1986.

Todd has a brother and sister who are both actors, Jimmy Bridges and Verda Bridges. His mother, Betty A. Bridges, was also an actress. He is married and has one son, Spencer Todd Bridges, Jr..

Although he was arrested, in 1997, for allegedly ramming someones car after an argument, he has since improved his standing in the public eye. Bridges is very active in the community, as he has traveled the U.S. speaking to over 6,000 kids per day in schools and churches discussing the dangers of drug use, negative peer pressure, and promoting his religious beliefs. In 2001, Bridges rescued a woman who
fell from her wheelchair while she was fishing.

Hollywood Horror (2006) (post-production)
Punk'd (2005) (TV)
Dead Rail (2005) (TV) (post-production)
Treasure n tha Hood (2005)
Jane Doe: Now You See It, Now You Don't (2005) (TV)
Issues (2004)
Curse of the Maya (2004)
Land of the Free? (2004)
May Day (2003) (V)
Black Ball (2003)
Ghost Dog: A Detective Tail (2003) (TV)
The Young and the Restless (2002) TV Series
The Climb (2002)
The Beach House (2002)
Baby of the Family (2002)
Pacino Is Missing (2002)
Scream at the Sound of the Beep (2002)
Welcome to America (2002)
Inhumanity (2001) (V)
Flossin (2001)
Dumb Luck (2001)
The Darkling (2000) (TV)
After Diff'rent Strokes: When the Laughter Stopped (2000) (TV)
Building Bridges (2000)
Flat Out (1998)
The Thief & the Stripper (1998)
The Waterfront (1998)
The Girl Gets Moe (1997)
A Day in the Life of Mia (1997)
A Devil Disguised (1997)
Diamonds From the Bantus (1997)
Hoover Park (1997)
Busted (1996)
Circle of Pain (1996) (TV)
Gangstaz (1996)
Homeboys (1992)
The Sounds of Silence (1992)
She's Out of Control (1989)
Twice Dead (1988)
High School U.S.A. (1983) (TV)
Return of the Mod Squad (1979) (TV)
Diff'rent Strokes (1978) TV Series
Fish (1977--1978) TV Series
A Killing Affair (1977) (TV)
Roots (1977) (mini) TV Series
Katherine (1975) (TV)

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