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.
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 the Northwood School, 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" and in the second season episode "Keeper of the Purple Twilight"), 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."
Platt appeared as Sotto Voce in the 1969 KCET television reading of Norman Corwin's 1938 radio play The Plot to Overthrow Christmas.
On March 19, 1974, Platt was found dead in his Santa Monica apartment, at the age of 58. Iniitially it was reported that he had died from a heart attack, but Platt's son later admitted his father's death was from suicide, after a long struggle with untreated depression.