DIRT-POOR DANA PLATO KILLED HERSELF
BROKE and drug plagued, Diff’rent Strokes kid Dana Plato swore she was clean the day before she died of a drug overdose on May 8, 1999.
The 34-year-old former child star, who was 13 when she began her 1978 to 1984 run on the sitcom, boasted she was sober to shock jock Howard Stern.
The following day her manager-fiancé Robert Menchaca, 28, found her “unresponsive and cold to the touch” at 9:40 p.m. in their run-down camper outside Moore, Okla.
At first, authorities believed she’d accidentally overdosed on a cocktail of Valium and the painkiller Lortab, but the tragic beauty was later ruled a suicide.
Her life and career plunged into a downward spiral after she was forced to leave Diff’rent Strokes two years before it ended because she got knocked up.
Turning to booze and drugs for comfort, she posed nude for Playboy and took parts in soft-core porn flicks — and was busted for robbing a video store and forging a Valium prescription.
Hours before her overdose, she told Stern: “My life is so good now. I’ve never been happier.”
The former kid star was found dead in a camper