The Great Diff’rent Strokes Hoax of 1999: Dana Plato’s After-Death Cult

DiffrentstrokesAs Gary Coleman’s death resurrects questions about a Diff’rent Strokes “curse”, a reporter tells the bizarre story of the “Cult of Dana Plato” web site in 1999. (Memberships had cost $30…)

A shady business promoter had taped his phone calls with the former star of the 1980s sitcom, Diff’rent Strokes, during the last month of her life, and created a web page that offered to let visitors “Ask Dana questions from the grave through the Dana Plato Psychic Network.” The promoter also flogged conspiracy theories about 34-year-old Plato’s death, asking whether it was all really a government conspiracy. (“After all, the government has done weirder things….”)

But ironically, one recording eventually showed he’d actually made a call to her fiance the night of her drug overdose — where he’d advised him, “That’s okay, man, let her sleep it off, dude. Whatever.”

  • nemoide

    I have the Sega CD game she stared in, Night Trap. (The controversy it started inspired the rating system for video games.)

    I also have one with Corey Haim…
    And Gary Coleman is of course featured in the Postal games…

    VIDEO GAME CURSE!?!

    • tonyviner

      Now if we could just get Charlie Sheen to star in a video game…

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