Oliver Platt

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Oliver Platt
Oliver Platt (2010).jpg
Oliver Platt, 2010
Born Oliver James Platt
(1960-01-12) January 12, 1960 (age 59)
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Residence New York City, New York
Nationality American
Alma mater Tufts University (B.A., 1983)[1][2]
Occupation Actor
Years active 1988–present
Spouse(s) Camilla Campbell
Children 3
Parent(s) Sheila Maynard
Nicholas Platt
Relatives Adam Platt (brother)
Nicholas Platt, Jr. (brother)

Oliver James Platt (born January 12, 1960) is an American screen and stage actor. He has been nominated for a Golden Globe Award, as well as multiple Emmy and Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Family, early life and education


Platt was born in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, to American parents Sheila Maynard, a clinical social worker who worked in Islamabad,[3] and Nicholas Platt, a career diplomat who served as U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, Zambia, and the Philippines.[4] He has an older brother, Adam Platt, a New York Magazine restaurant critic, and a younger brother, Nicholas Platt, Jr. His family moved back to the United States when Platt was three months old.[5]

Platt's paternal great-great-grandfather was diplomat and lawyer Joseph Hodges Choate. Platt's maternal great-grandparents were equestrian Arthur Scott Burden (of the industrialist Burden family) and socialite Cynthia Roche;[6] he is a second cousin once removed of Diana, Princess of Wales and of her brother Charles Spencer, 9th Earl Spencer, through his great-great-grandparents, MP James Roche and heiress Frances Work.[5] When asked about Diana, Platt said, "I never met her. It's a non-story. I'd love to tell you we were confidantes. The truth is I don't know much more about it than you do."[5]

Early life

Because of his father's career as an ambassador, much of Platt's childhood was spent in Asia, the Middle East, and Washington, D.C.[7] Platt attended twelve different schools, including the American School in Japan, and has said "Even now I find myself envying people who have neighborhoods and roots."[7] Platt's family made frequent trips back to Washington, where they held Redskins season tickets.[8] Platt is also a fan of the Boston Red Sox.[8]

When he was nine years old, Platt and his family visited the Kennedy Center in Washington, where he watched a performance that helped inspire his acting career.[4] "One of the performances that really made me want to be an actor started out with this probably 20-minute rambling, drunken monologue by this bum. And it was a young Morgan Freeman. I'll never forget it. This guy was just so riveting. He stood there on stage alone before the curtain went up, and he held this audience utterly rapt. Including myself, obviously."[4] According to Platt, drama departments gave his childhood some stability, "It was something of a survival mechanism, in that it gave me a little subculture to plug into wherever I ended up. Kids need that. I certainly did."[7]


Platt attended a progressive boarding school named Colorado Rocky Mountain School in Carbondale, Colorado.[9]

Platt majored in drama at Tufts University, where he met and became close friends with Hank Azaria.[1][10] He spent three years working in theatre in Boston, Massachusetts, which he said had a "wealth of serious amateur theatre at that time…I played many roles, and it was the best training I could have had."[11] Platt travelled with Shakespeare and Company, based in Lenox, Massachusetts, touring schools to earn his Equity card, before moving to New York.[11] Platt's early career involved Off-Broadway and regional theatre, and he appeared onstage with the New York Shakespeare Festival, Lincoln Center Theater, Manhattan Theatre Club and other companies across many genres.[11] He obtained an agent while working at Manhattan Punch Line Theatre, and met actor Bill Murray at his cousin's Christmas party.[11] Murray attended Platt's show and recommended Platt to director Jonathan Demme, who cast him in Married to the Mob in 1988.[11] Platt attributes his breakthrough to appearing at the Punch Line Theater.[11]


Platt makes his decisions about accepting acting roles based on the role being "different from what I just did...I do have to be interested in the role".[11] After Married to the Mob, he appeared in Working Girl (1988), Flatliners (1990), Beethoven (1992), The Three Musketeers (1993), A Time to Kill (1996) and Bulworth (1998).[12] In 1998, Platt and Stanley Tucci played two deadbeat actors who improvise with unsuspecting strangers in The Impostors.[13] Tucci and Platt developed the characters while working on a play at Yale University in 1988, Tucci later completing the screenplay and directing the film.[13]

In 1999, Platt played the wealthy and eccentric crocodile enthusiast Hector in David E. Kelley's Lake Placid, alongside Bill Pullman and Bridget Fonda.[14] Platt described Hector as "pretty abrasive and obnoxious at times, but, I hope, he has a way of growing on you. I think David originally thought of him as a great white hunter sort of guy, but when I signed on for the role he sort of wrote him in a different direction."[14]

The short-lived drama Deadline provided Platt's first lead role on television. Created by Dick Wolf, who also created Law & Order, Deadline focused on the lives of newspaper journalists in New York City.[15] Platt starred as Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Wallace Benton, an "unlikely hero". The strong cast, which also included Bebe Neuwirth and Hope Davis, could not compensate for sub-standard writing and the series was soon canceled.[11][15] After Deadline's failure, Platt avoided work on television until he read a script for The West Wing and signed on for a guest role.[11] He received an Emmy nomination for his portrayal of no-nonsense White House Counsel Oliver Babish,[11] brought in during season two to compile a defense for President Bartlet and others who covered up his non-disclosure of multiple sclerosis.[16]

His role in the television series Huff as Russell Tupper from 2004 to 2006 was well-received, especially by creator Bob Lowry (producer), who said, "Oliver plays an alcoholic, drug-addicted, sexaholic, workaholic, womanizing misogynist who is adorable. I don't know any actor who could do that. I originally saw Russell as a blond stud, but when I saw what Oliver could do, I realized how much better, richer, and less predictable he was than my idea of the character ... Oliver is very committed to the idea that story and dialogue be character-driven and unique".[11] Platt's work was nominated for two Emmy awards and a Golden Globe.[11][17]

In 2005, Platt acted in Harold Ramis's film The Ice Harvest as an unhappy businessman with a trophy wife and two stepchildren who becomes involved with a friend who has stolen $2 million from a Mafia boss.[18] He also played a lard merchant named Papprizzio in Lasse Hallström's Casanova, who competes with Casanova (Heath Ledger) for marriage to Francesca (Sienna Miller).[18] Platt won the New York Film Critics Online Award for best supporting actor for his role in Casanova.[19]

Platt greets fans outside the Nederlander Theatre in Manhattan after a performance of Guys and Dolls on February 21, 2009.

A Broadway production named Shining City was Platt's Broadway debut in 2006.[11] The play was set in Dublin, and Platt's role was the tortured protagonist, John.[11] Shining City's director said, "There is one word to describe Oliver. It's 'humanity.' He's got that everyman quality. He's a contradictory human being with flaws and strengths. And he's loveable. He can simultaneously make you laugh and break your heart. Oliver has brought to the role of John what I expected and more: tremendous inventiveness and sensitivity."[11] Platt visited Dublin to prepare for the role and ensure his performance was authentic.[11] He was nominated for a Tony award for "Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play".[20]

In 2007, Platt played the part of Yankees owner George Steinbrenner in the ESPN mini-series The Bronx Is Burning.[21] Platt signed onto the project after John Turturro was confirmed as Billy Martin, because, "This thing lives or dies by that portrayal ... I think it's great casting. God knows he has the intensity."[8] Platt starred in the pilot episode of The Thick of It, a remake of the British show of the same name in 2007.[17] The series was not picked up by ABC.[17]

Platt starred as Nathan Detroit, alongside Lauren Graham as Miss Adelaide, in the Broadway revival of Guys and Dolls which began performances at the Nederlander Theatre on February 3, 2009 and officially opened on March 1, 2009.[22] The production closed on June 14, 2009 after 113 performances.[23]

Platt starred as the White House Chief of Staff Carl Anheuser in Roland Emmerich's 2012, a disaster film released November 13, 2009.

Platt played the High Priest in the Harold Ramis film "Year One" released in 2009. In August 2010, he was cast in the role of "The Man in Black" in 2011's X-Men spin-off, X-Men: First Class, directed by Matthew Vaughn.[24] In October 2012, he starred in the romantic comedy The Oranges alongside Hugh Laurie and Leighton Meester[25] and will next appear in the action film Chinese Zodiac and as the voice of Wiser the Owl in the animated film Dorothy of Oz.,[26] as well as appearing in Miramax's upcoming supernatural thriller, The 9th Life of Louis Drax, which began filming on October 27, 2014.[27]

Personal life

Platt married Mary Camilla ("Camilla") Bonsal Campbell on September 12, 1992 at the First Congregational Church in Kittery Point, Maine.[3] He now focuses on film and television more than theater because "I've got a wife and three kids, so film is just the most viable thing for me right now. I still love the theater, but the commitment in time and energy to do live theater is so great, and, frankly, the financial rewards are just not as attractive. When you have a family, you have to think about those things."[14] Platt's older daughter, Lily, was born in 1995, his son, George, was born in 1997, and his younger daughter, Claire, was born in 1999. Platt has an open airline ticket when filming so he can return home frequently because his family does not accompany him to filming locations.[13]

Tufts University considered offering its Light on the Hill award to Platt in 2008, which is given to distinguished alumni.[28] Tufts Community Union President Neil DiBiase said Platt was unable to make it to Tufts that semester, and he "would rather wait to find a better opportunity for him to come to campus when his schedule is more available. The point of the award is to get alumni back to campus."[28] The 2008 award was instead given to Jeff Kindler, chief executive of pharmaceutical company Pfizer.[28]



Year Title Role Notes
1988 Married to the Mob Ed Benitez
1988 Working Girl Lutz
1989 Crusoe Mr. Newby
1990 Flatliners Randy Steckle
1990 Postcards from the Edge Neil Bleene
1992 Beethoven Harvey
1992 Diggstown Fitz
1993 Indecent Proposal Jeremy
1993 Three Musketeers, TheThe Three Musketeers Porthos
1993 Benny & Joon Eric
1993 The Temp Hartsell
1995 Funny Bones Tommy Fawkes
1995 Tall Tale Paul Bunyan
1996 Executive Decision Dennis Cahill
1996 Time to Kill, AA Time to Kill Harry Rex Vonner
1998 Dangerous Beauty Maffio Venier
1998 Bulworth Dennis Murphy
1998 Impostors, TheThe Impostors Maurice
1998 Dr. Dolittle Dr. Mark Weller Nominated—Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Supporting Actor – Comedy
1998 Simon Birch Ben Goodrich
1999 Lake Placid Hector Cyr
1999 Three to Tango Peter Steinberg
1999 Bicentennial Man Rupert Burns
2000 Ready to Rumble Jimmy King
2000 Gun Shy Fulvio Nesstra
2001 Don't Say a Word Dr. Louis Sachs
2002 Liberty Stands Still Victor Wallace
2002 Ash Wednesday Moran
2003 Pieces of April Jim Burns
2003 Hope Springs Doug Reed
2004 Kinsey Herman B Wells
2005 Ice Harvest, TheThe Ice Harvest Pete Nominated—Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor
2005 Casanova Paprizzio New York Film Critics Online Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
2007 Ten, TheThe Ten Marc Jacobson
2007 Martian Child Jeff
2008 Frost/Nixon Bob Zelnick Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
2009 Wonder Woman Hades Voice Only
2009 Year One High Priest
2009 Please Give Alex Nominated—Gotham Award for Best Ensemble Cast
Nominated—Independent Spirit Awards - Robert Altman Award
2009 2012 Carl Anheuser
2010 Love & Other Drugs Bruce Jackson
2010 Letters to Juliet Bobby
2011 X-Men: First Class Man in Black Suit
2012 The Oranges Terry Ostroff
2012 Chinese Zodiac Lawrence
2012 Ginger & Rosa Activist
2013 Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return Wiser the Owl Voice
2014 Chef Ramsey Michel
2014 Kill the Messenger Jerry Ceppos
2014 Cut Bank Joe Barrett
2014 Merry Friggin' Christmas Hobo Santa
2014 Frank and Cindy Frank Garcia Post-production
2015 The 9th Life of Louis Drax Dr. Perez Filming
2015 When I Live My Life Over Again Alan Post-production
2016 Shut In Filming


Year Title Role Notes
1987 The Equalizer Norm Jameson Episode: "In the Money"
1988 Miami Vice Speed Stiles Episode: "Baseballs of Death"
1990 Wiseguy Unknown Episode: "Changes Houses"
1995 Infiltrator, TheThe Infiltrator Yaron Television movie
2000–2001 Deadline Wallace Benton 13 episodes
2001–2005 West Wing, TheThe West Wing White House Counsel Oliver Babish 8 episodes
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
2003–2007 Queens Supreme Judge Jack Moran 13 episodes
2004–2006 Huff Russell Tupper 25 episodes
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (2005–06)
2007 Thick of It, TheThe Thick of It Malcolm Tucker Unsold TV pilot
2007 Bronx Is Burning, TheThe Bronx Is Burning George Steinbrenner 8 episodes
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
2007–2008 Nip/Tuck Freddy Prune 4 episodes
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
2009–2011 Bored to Death Richard Antrem 6 episodes
2012 American Experience Narrator Episode: Death and the Civil War directed by Ric Burns
2010–2013 Big C, TheThe Big C Paul Jamison 40 episodes
2014 Fargo Stavros Milos 5 episodes
2014 Sofia the First: The Curse of Princess Ivy Everburn TV special; Voice
2014 The Good Wife R.D Recurring Character
2015 Chicago Fire Dr. Charles Episode: "I Am The Apocalypse"
2015 Modern Family Martin Episode: "Knock 'Em Down"
2015 Bessie Carl Van Vechten Television movie
2015 Chicago Med Dr. Daniel Charles Main cast
2015 American Experience Narrator Episodes: Walt Disney Parts 1 & 2


  1. 1.0 1.1 "All Rise! Veteran actor – and Tufts graduate – Oliver Platt stars as a judge in the new CBS show “Queens Supreme.”, Tufts e-News, Medford/Somerville, Mass., January 10, 2003
  2. Shister, Gail, "It's Showtime! Former classmates and friends find themselves starring together in a new television series", Tufts Magazine, Fall 2004
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Weddings; Camilla Campbell, Oliver Platt". New York Times. September 13, 1992. Retrieved March 10, 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 McDonald, Gayle (April 28, 2006). "Oliver Platt: 7 questions". The Globe and Mail. p. R34.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Roberts, Gary Boyd. "#43 Royal Descents, Notable Kin, and Printed Sources: New – and Deleted – Immigrants of Royal Descent". NewEnglandAncestors.org. Retrieved December 29, 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 King, Dennis (July 19, 1999). "Swimming with the crocs Oliver Platt knows a thing or two about oddball characters". Tulsa World. p. 15.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  18. 18.0 18.1 King, Susan (November 28, 2005). "Oliver Platt a scene-stealer in the old tradition: The actor tells all about the art of playing drunk, and the trouble with being the only American in a movie full of British actors playing Italians". Vancouver Sun. p. C3.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. Hartl, John (December 25, 2005). "Casanova: supporting actor Oliver Platt saves comedy's flow". The Seattle Times. Retrieved March 10, 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. "Oliver Platt, Donald Byrd receive Tony award nominations". US Fed News. June 5, 2006.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. "Pinstripe epic". New York Post. September 20, 2006.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. Guys and Dolls Picks Its Nathan
  23. Adelaide's New Lament: Broadway's Guys and Dolls to Close June 14
  24. Fleming, Mike (August 16, 2010). "Oliver Platt Joins X-Men: First Class". Deadline.com. Retrieved August 16, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. "The Oranges official website". Retrieved September 4, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. "Dorothy of Oz official website". Retrieved September 4, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  27. Press Release 10/27/14. Miramax.com
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 Gittleson, Ben (February 28, 2008). "Light on the Hill Award offered to Pfizer CEO". Tufts Daily. Retrieved March 10, 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

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