The Tragic Death Of Dana Plato From Diff’rent Strokes

Per IMDb, in 1999, Plato decided to do an interview on Howard Stern’s radio show (posted on YouTube) in hopes of reviving her dying career. In it, the New York Post reports, she told Stern that she was sober and no longer on drugs. Although the interview started well, Plato was soon confronted with abusive calls from listeners who believed she was under the influence (via Popdust).

The studio quickly became tense and Plato became defensive. Eventually, Stern asked if she would take a drug test, and asked for a sample of her hair. Plato agreed but the hair was never tested. A day after the interview, on May 8, 1999, 34-year-old Plato died. She was found in her RV while visiting family in Oklahoma. AP News writes that she had overdosed on a painkiller and valium. Due to her prior suicidal tendencies and the high level of drugs in her system, her death was ruled a suicide. Tragically, Plato’s son, Tyler, would also commit suicide days before the 11th anniversary of his mother’s death in 2010 (via “Today”). 

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357)

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

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