Robbed by the Girl Who Played Kimberly

Diff'rent Strokes

So many drums…

Remember Kimberly? She was the girl who moved to the beat of that other drum. While her adopted brother from Harlem was asking everyone what they were talkin’ ’bout, Kimberly was attending private school, deciding whether to go on ski trips with boys, and even grappling (for twenty-two minutes) with Bulimia.

Kimberly was also my very first crush.

Kimberly

Finding a way to shine…

I’m not convinced that I can entirely credit my crush to the lovely Dana Plato, who quietly played Kimberly behind her much louder costar. It was more that I had grown up just enough to notice the first age-appropriate girl who appeared on my TV screen. Nevertheless, there are some ‘firsts’ a boy never forgets—his first big TV, his first belly-laugh, and his first crush—so Kimberly lives on, to this day, in my affections.

The Girl Who Played Kimberly did rob me of something, though. She robbed me of the illusion that notoriety brings everlasting success. Continue reading