|Born||Edward Cuthbert Platt
February 14, 1916
Staten Island, New York, U.S.
|Died||March 19, 1974
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
|Years active||1949 – 1974|
|Spouse(s)||Suzanne Belcher (m. 1954–74) (his death) (3 children)|
Edward Cuthbert Platt (February 14, 1916 – March 19, 1974) was an American actor best known for his portrayal of "The Chief" in the 1965-70 NBC/CBS television series Get Smart. With his deep voice and mature countenance, he played an eclectic mix of characters over the span of his career.
Stage, film, and television career
A powerful bass-baritone, he debuted on Broadway in the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Allegro. He landed his first film owing to help from José Ferrer, who performed with him in the Broadway play The Shrike. Ferrer and Platt played the same parts in the film version in 1955. Also in 1955, he appeared in Rebel Without a Cause starring James Dean, Natalie Wood and Sal Mineo. Platt returned to Broadway in 1958 with the musical Oh, Captain! playing a romantic role. In 1959, he played Cary Grant's attorney in North by Northwest. In 1959, Platt starred in the movie The Rebel Set, which was "riffed" by the television show Mystery Science Theater 3000.
Platt also appeared in episodes of the original Perry Mason, State Trooper (in the episode "Who Killed Doc Robbins"), Men into Space (in the episode "From Another World"), Bonanza, "The Rifleman", Rawhide, Whispering Smith, The Outer Limits (in the first season episode " The Man with the Power"), The Dick Van Dyke Show (in "A Nice Friendly Game Of Cards"), and The Twilight Zone.
His most famous role was the regular role of "Chief" in the espionage parody television series Get Smart (1965–1970). After the series ended he played a recurring role in situation comedy series The Governor & J.J. in 1970. He had guest roles in several other television series of the era, mostly comedies. These included Temperatures Rising, Bewitched, Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law, Love, American Style, The Odd Couple as Oscar Madison's boss in episode Oscar's New Life.
Work as producer
In 1973, Platt raised the money to produce one of the very first independent color motion pictures shot entirely on videotape: Santee, starring Glenn Ford. Platt saw the advantages of using videotape over film, and his crew shot the production with electronic TV cameras and portable VTRs, then had the images transferred to film for theatrical release. The movie was not commercially successful.
On March 19, 1974, Platt's body was found in his apartment; the actor was reported to have died of an apparent heart attack. However, one of his sons confirmed that Platt committed suicide in 1974 after two previous attempts while suffering from an undiagnosed and untreated depression that was further sparked by financial troubles. It is also said that Platt's Get Smart (1965) co-star, Don Adams, knew the real cause of death. He left four children from two marriages and a brother living in Santa Barbara, California. His ashes were scattered into the Pacific Ocean.
|1949||I Was a Male War Bride||Lieutenant in Gates's Office||Uncredited|
|1955||The Shrike||Harry Downs|
|Cult of the Cobra||Snake cult priest|
|Rebel Without a Cause||Ray Fremick|
|1956||The Lieutenant Wore Skirts||Major Dunning|
|Backlash||Sheriff J.C. Marson||Credited as Edward C. Platt|
|The Great Man||Dr. O'Connor|
|The Proud Ones||Dr. Barlow|
|Storm Center||Rev. Wilson|
|Written on the Wind||Dr. Paul Cochrane|
|Designing Woman||Martin J. Daylor|
|1958||The Last of the Fast Guns||Sam Grypton||Credited as Edward C. Platt|
|1959||The Rebel Set||Mr. Tucker / Mr. T|
|They Came to Cordura||Col. DeRose|
|North by Northwest||Victor Larrabee|
|1959-64||The Twilight Zone||The Doctor||Episode: A Hundred Yards Over the Rim|
|1960||Cash McCall||Harrison Glenn|
|Men into Space||Dr. Luraski||TV Show|
|1961||The Explosive Generation||Mr. Morton|
|Atlantis, the Lost Continent||Azar the High Priest|
|1963||A Ticklish Affair||Captain Haven Hitchcock|
|Johnny Shiloh||General Thomas|
|Black Zoo||Detective Rivers|
|1965||The Man from Button Willow||The Man In The Black Cape|
|1965-70||Get Smart||Thaddeus/Chief of CONTROL||TV Show|
|1970||The Odd couple||Oscar's Boss|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Edward Platt.|
- Edward Platt at the Internet Movie Database
- Edward Platt at the Internet Broadway Database
- Edward Platt at Find a Grave
- "Chief" places 6th on Great Secondary TV Characters list