Edward Platt

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Edward Platt
BornEdward Cuthbert Platt
(1916-02-14)February 14, 1916
Staten Island, New York, U.S.
DiedMarch 19, 1974(1974-03-19) (aged 58)
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Years active1949 – 1974
Spouse(s)Suzanne Belcher (m. 1954–74)
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For the English professional footballer, see Ted Platt.
Edward Platt
BornEdward Cuthbert Platt
(1916-02-14)February 14, 1916
Staten Island, New York, U.S.
DiedMarch 19, 1974(1974-03-19) (aged 58)
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Years active1949 – 1974
Spouse(s)Suzanne Belcher (m. 1954–74)

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[edit]

Platt was born in Staten Island, New York and studied at the Juilliard School of Music.[1] He attended Princeton University but left after his freshman year.[2]

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, 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.

Platt appeared as Sotto Voce in the 1969 KCET television reading of Norman Corwin's 1938 radio play The Plot to Overthrow Christmas.

Work as producer[edit]

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.[citation needed]


On March 19, 1974, Platt's body was found in his apartment; the actor was reported to have died of an apparent heart attack.[1] However, one of his sons confirmed that Platt committed suicide after two previous attempts while suffering from an undiagnosed and untreated depression that was further sparked by financial troubles.[citation needed] He left four children from two marriages and a brother living in Santa Barbara, California. His ashes were scattered into the Pacific Ocean.[3]


1949I Was a Male War BrideLieutenant in Gates's OfficeUncredited
1955The ShrikeHarry Downs
Cult of the CobraSnake cult priest
Rebel Without a CauseRay Fremick
IllegalRalph Ford
1956The Lieutenant Wore SkirtsMajor Dunning
BacklashSheriff J.C. MarsonCredited as Edward C. Platt
The Great ManDr. O'Connor
The Proud OnesDr. Barlow
Storm CenterRev. Wilson
Written on the WindDr. Paul Cochrane
1957Omar KhayyamJayhan
Designing WomanMartin J. Daylor
1958The Last of the Fast GunsSam GryptonCredited as Edward C. Platt
1959The Rebel SetMr. Tucker / Mr. T
They Came to CorduraCol. DeRose
North by NorthwestVictor Larrabee
1959-64The Twilight ZoneThe DoctorEpisode: A Hundred Yards Over the Rim
1960Cash McCallHarrison Glenn
PollyannaBen Tarbell
Men into SpaceDr. LuraskiTV Show
1961The Explosive GenerationMr. Morton
Atlantis, the Lost ContinentAzar the High Priest
1962Cape FearJudge
1963A Ticklish AffairCaptain Haven Hitchcock
Johnny ShilohGeneral Thomas
Black ZooDetective Rivers
1965The Man from Button WillowThe Man In The Black Cape
1965-70Get SmartThaddeus/Chief of CONTROLTV Show

1970-The ODD couple- Oscar's Boss


  1. ^ a b "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. 
  2. ^ http://edplatt.20m.com/about.html
  3. ^ Birkmeyer, Carl. "Edward Platt". WouldYouBelieve.com. Retrieved September 12, 2011. 

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