Growing up as a child of the late 80s, my favorite sitcom to watch in reruns was Diff'rent Strokes. It was sad to hear what happened to actress Dana Plato, who played Kimberly Drummond. She was one of the first Hollywood teen stars that ended up not being able to deal with the trappings of fame. But it turns out she had a small connection to the metal world, and that is through Fear Factory guitarist Dino Cazares.
Dino appeared on Doc Coyle's The Ex-Man podcast, and told stories of when he worked in a sandwich shop. You might recall previously, Dave Mustaine came through the shop and offered him guitar advice. Turns out, so did Dana Plato.
The manager who worked [at the shop] was really cool. After we were done cleaning the floors and cleaning up all the sandwich stuff, she would close up shop and we would fucking drink beer. We would hang out. [I was] 18 [or] 19 years old drinking beer. I probably shouldn't say that, but, yeah, I was doing that. And we would always invite some people over. So she had some friends that came over. And this girl showed up. And I was, like, 'Wow. Who's that? That girl looks familiar. She looks familiar.'
"And I was just talking to her, trying to figure out who she was. And we made kind of a little connection. And then I was, like, 'I don't live too far from here. I don't feel like walking.' I had too much beer. And she was, like, 'I'll give you a ride.' So she gave me a ride to my pad. We were sitting out in her truck; she had a truck. We were sitting out in her truck, and then we started making out. And I was, like, 'Who is that girl? I know her. I know her.' And then she started talking about television; she was talking about a television show. And it was Dana Plato from 'Diff'rent Strokes'. It was her.
"We had a connection. We had a moment. I didn't see her after that. I never saw her again. It was really cool. It was a cool moment."
I can't imagine why Dino would lie, but what a random story?
Plato was written off the show for drug use and had trouble finding work after, starring in B-movies and doing work for Playboy. She died of a drug overdose in May of 1999 at 34 years old.
Update: Shortly after going live with this story, Dino quote-tweeted it and added some context. "The sandwich shop was in the heart of Hollywood next to all the filming studios and recording studios, many famous people walked in to buy food or have a drink (they sold alcohol) that’s how I met Dave Mustaine as well as other stars. I was in the right spot at the right time"