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 appearance, he played an eclectic mix of characters over the span of his career.
Edward Cuthbert Platt
February 14, 1916
|Died||March 19, 1974 (aged 58)|
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
|Resting place||Ashes scattered into the Pacific Ocean|
|Alma mater||Juilliard School|
(m. 1954; his death 1974)
Early life and military serviceEdit
Platt was born in Staten Island, New York. He spent a part of his childhood in Kentucky and in upstate New York where he attended Northwood School (Lake Placid, New York), a private school in Lake Placid, and was a member of the ski jump team. He also studied at the Juilliard School. He attended Princeton University, but left after his freshman year. Platt served in the United States Army during World War II.
A powerful, operatically trained bass-baritone, he debuted on Broadway in the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Allegro. José Ferrer, who performed with Platt in the Broadway play The Shrike, helped Platt land his first film role in the 1955 film version. 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 later mocked on the television show Mystery Science Theater 3000.
Platt also appeared in episodes of the original Perry Mason ("The Case of the Slandered Submarine" and "The Case of the Larcenous Lady"); 77 Sunset Strip, Trackdown, State Trooper (in the episode "Who Killed Doc Robbins"), Men into Space ("From Another World"), Ripcord ("Millon Dollar Drop"), Gunsmoke, Bonanza, One Step Beyond, The Rifleman, Rawhide, Whispering Smith, The Outer Limits (in the first-season episode "The Man with the Power"), The Dick Van Dyke Show ("A Nice Friendly Game Of Cards"), Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea, Bat Masterson, Tales of Wells Fargo 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, including Temperatures Rising, Bewitched, Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law, Love, American Style, and The Odd Couple as Oscar Madison's boss in the episode "Oscar's New Life."
Work as producerEdit
In 1973, Platt raised the money to produce one of the 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. He was 58 years old. While early reports blamed a heart attack for the actor's death, his son later admitted Platt had committed suicide after a long struggle with untreated depression.
|1949||I Was a Male War Bride||Lieutenant in Gates's Office||Uncredited|
|1955||Cult of the Cobra||Lamian Threatening Death||Uncredited|
|The Shrike||Harry Downs|
|The McConnell Story||Medical Corps Instructor||Uncredited|
|Rebel Without a Cause||Ray Fremick|
|Sincerely Yours||Dr. Eubank||Uncredited|
|1956||The Lieutenant Wore Skirts||Major Dunning|
|The Steel Jungle||Judge Wahller|
|Backlash||Sheriff J.C. Marson||Credited as Edward C. Platt|
|The Proud Ones||Dr. Barlow|
|Storm Center||Rev. Wilson|
|The Unguarded Moment||Attorney Briggs|
|Written on the Wind||Dr. Paul Cochrane|
|Rock, Pretty Baby||Thomas Daley Sr. M.D.|
|The Great Man||Dr. O'Connor|
|1957||The Tattered Dress||Ralph Adams|
|Designing Woman||Martin J. Daylor|
|House of Numbers||The Warden|
|The Helen Morgan Story||Johnny Haggerty|
|Oregon Passage||Roland Dane|
|1958||The Gift of Love||Dr. Jim Miller|
|Damn Citizen||Joseph Kosta|
|The High Cost of Loving||Eli Cave|
|Summer Love||Dr. Thomas Daley|
|The Last of the Fast Guns||Sam Grypton||Credited as Edward C. Platt|
|Gunman's Walk||Purcell Avery|
|1959||The Rebel Set||Mr. Tucker / Mr. T|
|North by Northwest||Victor Larrabee|
|They Came to Cordura||Col. DeRose|
|Inside the Mafia||Dan Regent|
|1960||Cash McCall||Harrison Glenn|
|1961||The Fiercest Heart||Madrigo|
|Atlantis, the Lost Continent||Azar the High Priest|
|Snow White and the Three Stooges||Villager||Uncredited|
|The Explosive Generation||Mr. Morton|
|1963||Black Zoo||Detective Rivers|
|A Ticklish Affair||Captain Haven Hitchcock|
|1964||Shock Treatment||District Attorney||Uncredited|
|Bullet for a Badman||Tucker|
|1965||The Man from Button Willow||The Man In The Black Cape||Voice, Uncredited|
|1955||Gunsmoke||Mr. Burgess||Episode "Smoking Out the Nolans"|
|1958||Silent Service||Capt. Benítez||Episode "The Last Dive"|
|1959||Wagon Train||Matthew Sinclair||Episode "The Duke LeMay Story"|
|1959||Rawhide||Jason Clark||Episode "Incident of the Thirteenth Man," Season 2, Episode 6, airdate: Oct. 23, 1959|
|1959||Mr Lucky||Henry Praiswater||Episode "The Stowaway"|
|1960||Men into Space||Dr. Luraski||Episode "From Another World"|
|1960||Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theatre||Marshall Mays||Episode "The Ox"|
|1960||Perry Mason||Cmdr. Driscoll||Episode "The Case of the Slandered Submarine," "The Case of the Larcenous Lady"|
|1961||The Twilight Zone||The Doctor||Episode "A Hundred Yards Over the Rim"|
|1961||Boris Karloff's Thriller||Jim Weeks||Episode "Late Date"|
|1962||Bronco||Sheriff Ben Lockwood||Episode "Ride the Whirlwind"|
|1963||Ripcord||Jake Miller||Episode "Million Dollar Drop"|
|1964||The Outer Limits||David Hunt||Episode "Keeper of the Purple Twilight"|
|1965-1970||Get Smart||Chief of CONTROL|
|1969-1970||The Governor & J.J.||Orrin Hacker||Recurring role|
|1971||The Odd Couple||Bill Donnelly||Episode "Oscar's New Life"|
- "Actor Edward Platt Is Dead Of Heart Attack". St. Joseph News-Press. St. Joseph, Missouri. AP. March 21, 1974. p. 4A. Retrieved September 12, 2011.
- "About Page". 20m.com. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
- We get to hear him sing in the Get Smart episode "The Hot Line", in which the Chief loses his job and has to work as a singing waiter in a posh restaurant. He sings the French song "Alouette".
- "Edward Platt, Actor, Dies". Lincoln Evening Journal. Nebraska, Lincoln. United Press International. March 21, 1974. p. 22. Retrieved August 30, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- Death certificate states coronary failure. "Overview for Edward Platt". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved April 28, 2017.