The tragic end of Edward Platt, “El Jefe” from “El Superagente 86” who was pigeonholed in that role and died in oblivion

Many figures in film and television are very clear that the famous star-system it is anecdotal and that they have to ride the wave of success the moment they are at the top. “Stardom is not a profession, it’s an accident“The actress once said Lauren Bacall, one of the myths of the golden Hollywood. For others, on the other hand, everything can collapse from one second to another.

Edward Platt He was a versatile actor who did it all before making a name for himself at the top of TV. His role as “The Boss” in Super Agent 86 defined it. It was also his weakness. Shortly after the series was lifted, died in depression without having been able to get out of that pigeonhole.

The origins of Edward Platt, between music and World War II

Born February 14, 1916 in Staten Island, New York, Edward Cuthbert Platt He always had an interest in musical art, influenced by his mother who wanted him to exploit his natural baritone voice. After going to school Woodberry Forest and to the prestigious school Northwood At Lake Placid, he studied languages ​​at Princeton, but eventually dropped out of that degree to finish a BA in Music. Cinncinati Conservatory and perfect in the Juilliard Academy of New York.

Edward Platt, in the movie “Rock, Pretty Baby!”. (Photo: IMDb)

With an increasingly marked profession in the universe of music, Platt sang in the Paul Whiteman Orchestra and in the New York Mozart Opera Company. But the world played him an unexpected card: the WWII it exploded in 1939 and had to go to the front. How did you intervene in the war conflict? His deep, marked and enveloping voice led him to be a radio operator of the Army Air Corps, that is, it distributed messages between the different battle fronts.

Upon returning from the war, Platt continued to be related to the artistic universe and was gaining ground not only as a singer but also in the theatrical space. While he had a career as a radio voice actor, reinforced his profile on Broadway, where I had already done some small jobs. In 1947 he worked on the musical play Allegro and in 1952 came his greatest success on the tables with The Shrike, along with others like The Silver Whistle, Twentieth Century Y Texas Lil “Darlin”.

But her singing career was not very successful. Years later, in an interview with the Canadian magazine in 1969 CHBC TV, Platt was obfuscated by what they charged at that time the musical artists of the theater. “I was discouraged to see that people who were accepted as good singers received so little financial compensation“, argument.

Edward Platt, between Hollywood and the success of “El Superagente 86”

That opinion was spinning in Platt’s head and in 1953 he took another turn in his life. Se mudó a Midland, Texas, to be close to your family. There he worked for television, a medium that was incipient. Again, he used his voice to live. He got a job for the channel KMID, chain dependent NBC, where did you work as a news anchor, cooking show host and even headlined the show Uncle Eddie’s children’s party.

Then again a move. This time, to definitely grow up. When Platt moved to Hollywood, he began to be more successful. From replicating in cinema the role he had played in theater in The Shrike, Her live changed. Then came other roles that positioned him both in the universe of the secondary actors of well-known films such as in some television cycles.

The leading trio of “El Superagente 86”. (Photo: NBC)

Thus he interspersed film roles in Rebel without a cause, with James Dean; International intrigue, of Alfred Hitchcock and next to Cary Grant; They Came to Cordura, next to Gary Cooper Y Rita Hayworth; as well as roles in TV shows like The Outer Limits, The unknown dimension, The man with the rifle O Doctor Kildare.

Super Agent 86 It was a series that destroyed television in the 60s. Its creators, Mel Brooks Y Buck Henry, satirized the conflict that existed at that time between the United States and the then Soviet Union to bring your most acidic criticism to the televisions of millions of people. The cycle starring Don Adams, Barbara Feldon and Edward Platt was an immediate success both in that country and in the world. It still keeps repeating.

Platt put himself in the shoes of the head of CONTROL (aka Thaddeus, aka Harold Clark) a goofy and goofy version of the CIA, who fought on different missions against the structure of K.A.O.S., that is, the look of Brooks de la KGB, the Soviet intelligence agency. In the middle of the two organizations were the spies, more precisely Maxwell Smart, Agent 86, and “La 99”, who at the beginning is his partner, but it ends up being his wife.

Agent Smart nagged “The Boss” all the time. (Photo: NBC capture)

The tandem he achieved with Adams and Feldon it was unmatched. That allowed his figure to be located in a fame and popularity that he had never obtained until that moment. “I am a symbol of frustration. A stone wall where Max can bounce his humor. And naturally, I’m making fun of the psychosis out there. While ‘La 99 ′ serves almost like a mother, I suppose that I am the father who forgives, always ready to turn the other cheek and give my’ son ‘another chance ”, Platt himself defined about his character, in a report that in 1967 he did TV Guide.

The dynamics of conducting Super Agent 86 it was a lot of fun and the cast got along wonderfully. In an interview that the magazine Inside TV did in 1968 to Platt, the protagonist of the cycle He talked about how well he was having at that time during the filming of the show. “The series is pure joy. If ever the producers find out that I’m having so much fun, They are going to want me to pay them!”He exclaimed.

The cancellation of “The Super Agent 86” and the death of Edward Platt

The series of the NBC ran from 1965 to 1970 and won seven Emmy Awards, the highest accolades to television in the United States. But as of the fourth season, the audience started to drop until the chain ended it canceling it. After that moment, Platt could not be successful again. He founded his own content company, Vagabond Productions, with which in 1973 he produced the western Santee, made by Glenn Ford, who did not do so well. That was the last thing he did in Hollywood.

Edward Platt and Don Adams, during one of the iconic moments of the “Cone of Silence”. (Photo: NBC capture)

March 19, 1974 was found dead in his apartment in Santa Monica, California. “The police assured that apparently he died of natural causes,” said the later chronicle of the newspaper. The New York Times. This version was kept for a long time.

The Web The Edward Platt Tribute Site rebuilt the true end of the days of one of the most remembered actors from the television of the ’60s. “The sad truth is that it was a suicide and Don Adams knew the real cause. It was the third attempt, “said that site. The official voice that confirmed it it was jeff, one of Platt’s sons who claimed that his father I was having financial problems and was going through a deep depression.

“At that time, there was not much help for these cases. In recent years the final revelation of Ed’s death emerged. We think he killed himself with pills and that the end of Super Agent 86 it was decisive “, commented the creator of the site in a forum of fans of the cycle.

Platt was not an artist who gave too many interviews. He was very reserved and his figure was always behind that of Don Adams and Barbara Feldon. But in the report he gave to TV Guide in 1967, perhaps, there was something more than a pasatian statement: “If the series ever goes off the air, I’ll probably die a little”.