Oliver Platt
Oliver Platt (2010).jpg
Platt in 2010
Born (1960-01-12) January 12, 1960 (age 63)
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
EducationTufts University
Years active1985–present
Camilla Campbell
(m. 1992)
RelativesAdam Platt

Oliver Platt (born January 12, 1960[1]) is a Canadian-born American actor. He is known for his starring roles in many films such as Flatliners (1990), Beethoven (1992), Indecent Proposal, The Three Musketeers (both 1993), Executive Decision, A Time to Kill (both 1996), Dangerous Beauty, Bulworth, The Impostors, Dr. Dolittle (all 1998), Ready to Rumble, Gun Shy (both 2000), Don't Say a Word (2001), Zig Zag (2002), Pieces of April (2003), The Ice Harvest (2005), Martian Child (2007), Frost/Nixon (2008), Year One, 2012 (both 2009), Please Give, Love & Other Drugs (both 2010), X-Men: First Class, The Oranges (both 2011), Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return (2013), Frank and Cindy and One More Time (both 2015). He has also appeared in numerous television series, including The West Wing, The Big C, and Fargo. Platt has been nominated for a Golden Globe Award, a Tony Award, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and four Primetime Emmy Awards.

Family and early life


Platt was born in Windsor, Ontario, Canada,[2] to American parents Sheila Maynard, a clinical social worker, and Nicholas Platt, a career diplomat who served as U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, Zambia, and the Philippines.[3][4] His older brother, Adam Platt, is a New York magazine restaurant critic. They returned to the United States when Platt was three months old.[5]

Platt's paternal great-grandfather was artist and architect Charles A. Platt,[6] and his maternal great-grandparents were equestrian Arthur Scott Burden (of the industrialist Burden family) and socialite Cynthia Roche.[7] Platt is also a great-great-grandson of General Robert Shaw Oliver (through his mother).[8]

Platt's paternal great great-grandfather was diplomat and lawyer Joseph Hodges Choate. Choate was the most successful lawyer in New York City during the Gilded Age and was later appointed U.S. Ambassador to England by President William McKinley. His brother William Gardner Choate, who was also a prominent lawyer and federal judge, created Choate Rosemary Hall.[9]

Early life

Because of his father's career as a foreign service officer, much of Platt's childhood was spent in Asia and Washington, D.C.[10] 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."[10] Platt's family made frequent trips back to Washington, where they held Commanders season tickets.[11] Platt is also a fan of the Boston Red Sox.[11]

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."[10]


Platt attended a progressive boarding school named Colorado Rocky Mountain School in Carbondale, Colorado.[12]

Platt majored in drama at Tufts University, where he met and became close friends with Hank Azaria.[13][14][15] 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."[16] Platt travelled with Shakespeare and Company, based in Lenox, Massachusetts, touring schools to earn his Equity card, before moving to New York.[16] 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.[16] He obtained an agent while working at Manhattan Punch Line Theatre, and met actor Bill Murray at his cousin's Christmas party.[16] Murray attended Platt's show and recommended Platt to director Jonathan Demme, who cast him in Married to the Mob in 1988.[16] Platt attributes his breakthrough to appearing at the Punch Line Theater.[16]


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".[16] After Married to the Mob, he appeared in Working Girl (1988), Flatliners (1990), Beethoven (1992), The Three Musketeers (1993), A Time to Kill (1996), Executive Decision (1996), and Bulworth (1998).[17] In 1998 Platt and Stanley Tucci played two deadbeat actors who improvise with unsuspecting strangers in The Impostors.[18] Tucci and Platt developed the characters while working on a play at Yale University in 1988, with Tucci later completing the screenplay and directing the film.[18]

In 1999, Platt played the wealthy and eccentric crocodile enthusiast Hector in David E. Kelley's Lake Placid, alongside Bill Pullman and Bridget Fonda.[19] 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."[19]

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.[20] 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 substandard writing and the series was soon canceled.[16][20] 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.[16] He received an Emmy nomination for his portrayal of no-nonsense White House Counsel Oliver Babish,[16] brought in during season two to compile a defense for President Bartlet and others who covered up his non-disclosure of multiple sclerosis.[21]

His role in the television series Huff as Russell Tupper from 2004 to 2006 was well-received, especially by creator Bob Lowry, 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".[16] Platt's work was nominated for two Emmy awards and a Golden Globe.[16][22]

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.[23] 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).[23] Platt won the New York Film Critics Online Award for best supporting actor for his role in Casanova.[24]

Platt greets fans outside the Nederlander Theatre in Manhattan after a performance of Guys and Dolls on February 21, 2009.
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.[16] The play was set in Dublin, and Platt's role was the tortured protagonist, John.[16] 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."[16] Platt visited Dublin to prepare for the role and ensure his performance was authentic.[16] He was nominated for a Tony award for "Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play".[25]

In 2007, Platt played the part of Yankees owner George Steinbrenner in the ESPN mini-series The Bronx Is Burning.[26] 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."[11] Platt starred in the pilot episode of The Thick of It, a remake of the British show of the same name in 2007.[22] The series was not picked up by ABC.[22]

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.[27] The production closed on June 14, 2009, after 113 performances.[28]

Platt starred as White House Chief of Staff Carl Anheuser in Roland Emmerich's 2012, a disaster film released November 13, 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.[29] In 2012, he starred in the romantic comedy The Oranges alongside Hugh Laurie and Leighton Meester[30] and appeared in the action film Chinese Zodiac. He provided the voice of Wiser the Owl in the 2013 animated film Dorothy of Oz.[31] He appeared in Miramax's 2016 supernatural thriller, The 9th Life of Louis Drax.[32]

Personal life

Platt married Mary Camilla Bonsal Campbell on September 12, 1992, at the First Congregational Church in Kittery, Maine.[33] They have three children: Lily (born 1995), George (born 1997), and Clare (born 1999). As of 1998, Platt had an open airline ticket when filming so he could return home frequently because his family did not accompany him to filming locations.[18] In a 1999 interview, he explained that he had chosen to focus on film and television rather than theater because of his family.[34]

Platt has a home in North Haven, Maine.[35]

Tufts University considered offering its Light on the Hill award to Platt in 2008, which is given to distinguished alumni.[36] However, Platt was unable to return to the Tufts campus,[36] and the 2008 award was instead given to Jeff Kindler, chief executive of pharmaceutical company Pfizer.[36]



Year Title Role Notes
1988 Married to the Mob FBI Agent Ed Benitez
Working Girl Lutz
1989 Crusoe Mr. Newby
1990 Flatliners Randy Steckle
Postcards from the Edge Neil Bleene
1992 Beethoven Harvey
Diggstown Daniel Patrick O'Shannon 'Fitz' Fitzpatrick
1993 The Temp Hartsell
Indecent Proposal Jeremy
Benny & Joon Eric
The Three Musketeers Porthos
1995 Tall Tale Paul Bunyan
Funny Bones Tommy Fawkes
1996 Executive Decision Dennis Cahill
A Time to Kill Harry Rex Vonner
1998 Dangerous Beauty Maffio Venier
Bulworth Dennis Murphy
The Impostors Maurice
Dr. Dolittle Dr. Mark Weller Nominated—Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Supporting Actor – Comedy
Simon Birch Ben Goodrich
1999 Lake Placid Hector Cyr
Three to Tango Peter Steinberg
Bicentennial Man Rupert Burns
CinderElmo Fairy Godperson Sesame Street special episodes
2000 Ready to Rumble Jimmy 'The King' King
Gun Shy Fulvio Nesstra
2001 Don't Say a Word Dr. Louis Sachs
2002 Liberty Stands Still Victor Wallace
Ash Wednesday Moran
Zig Zag Mr.Walters / The Toad
2003 Pieces of April Jim Burns
Hope Springs Doug Reed
2004 Kinsey Herman B Wells
2005 The Ice Harvest Pete Van Heuten Nominated—Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor
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 The Ten Marc Jacobson
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) Direct-to-DVD
Year One High Priest
2012 Carl Anheuser
2010 Please Give Alex Nominated—Gotham Independent Film Award for Best Ensemble Cast
Nominated—Independent Spirit Awards - Robert Altman Award
Love & Other Drugs Bruce Jackson
Letters to Juliet Bobby Uncredited
2011 X-Men: First Class Man In Black Suit
2012 The Oranges Terry Ostroff
Chinese Zodiac Lawrence
Ginger & Rosa Activist
2013 Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return Wiser The Owl (voice)
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya Lord Minister of The Right Abe (voice)
Lucky Them Giles
2014 Chef Ramsey Michel
Kill the Messenger Jerome Ceppos
Cut Bank Joe Barrett
A Merry Friggin' Christmas Hobo Santa
2015 Frank and Cindy Frank Garcia
One More Time Alan Sternberg
2016 The Cleanse Ken Roberts
The Ticket Bob
The 9th Life of Louis Drax Dr. Perez
Shut In Dr. Wilson
Rules Don't Apply Forester
2017 Professor Marston and the Wonder Women Max Gaines
2020 I'm Thinking of Ending Things The Voice (voice)


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 The Infiltrator Yaron Television movie
2000–2001 Deadline Wallace Benton 13 Episodes
2001-2005 The West Wing Oliver Babish 8 Episodes
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
2003 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)
2007–2008 Nip/Tuck Freddy Prune 4 Episodes
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
2007 The Thick of It Malcolm Tucker Unsold TV pilot
The 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
2009–2011 Bored to Death Richard Antrem 6 Episodes
2010–2013 The Big C Paul Jamison 40 Episodes
2012–2018 American Experience Narrator (voice) 11 Episodes
2014 Fargo Stavros Milos 5 Episodes
2014-2017 Sofia the First Everburn (voice) 2 Episodes
2015–2016 Chicago P.D. Dr. Daniel Charles 9 Episodes
2015–2017 Chicago Fire 7 Episodes
2015–present Chicago Med 120 Episodes
2015 The Good Wife R.D. 3 Episodes
Bessie Carl Van Vechten Television movie
2015-2017 Modern Family Martin 2 Episodes
2016 American Dad! Documentary Narrator (voice) Episode: "Next of Pin"
2017 Chicago Justice Dr. Daniel Charles 2 Episodes
2022 The Bear Uncle Jimmy 2 Episodes

Video games

Year Title Role
2001 SSX Tricky Luther-Dwayne Grady
2006 Scarface: The World Is Yours


  1. ^ "UPI Almanac for Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020". United Press International. January 12, 2020. Archived from the original on January 13, 2020. Retrieved June 27, 2020. … actor Oliver Platt in 1960 (age 60)
  2. ^ Platt, speaking to brother Adam Platt in Platt, Adam (February 19, 2009). "The Brothers Platt". New York. Vox Media. Archived from the original on August 4, 2020. Our father joined the Foreign Service at a young age, which meant that we grew up all over the place. You were born in Washington, D.C. Our younger brother, Nick, who's now a prosperous business executive, was born in Hong Kong. I was born in Windsor, Ontario, which is right across from Detroit, when our father was stamping visas there, on the U.S.-Canada border.
  3. ^ "Oliver Platt Biography". Film Reference. Retrieved May 16, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c Kipen, David (April 3, 1995). "Oliver Platt: from second banana to pick of the bunch". L.A. Life. Los Angeles Daily News. p. L1.
  5. ^ McDonald, Gayle (April 28, 2006). "Oliver Platt: 7 questions". The Globe and Mail. p. R34.
  6. ^ "Hamlet in New Hampshire was a haven for artists". Vindy.com. February 21, 2010. Retrieved July 1, 2016.
  7. ^ Roberts, Gary Boyd. "#43 Royal Descents, Notable Kin, and Printed Sources: New – and Deleted – Immigrants of Royal Descent". NewEnglandAncestors.org. Retrieved December 29, 2009.
  8. ^ "Oliver Platt Pedigree Chart | Oliver Platt | Ahnentafel No: 1 (44106)". Famouskin.com. Retrieved July 1, 2016.
  9. ^ "Joseph Hodges Choate Dies Suddenly Famous Lawyer and Statesman was 85". The New York Times. May 5, 1917.
  10. ^ a b c Snead, Elizabeth (October 6, 1998). "Oliver Platt well-rounded as an 'Impostor'". USA Today. p. 5D.
  11. ^ a b c Deitsch, Richard (October 30, 2006). "Q&A Oliver Platt". Sports Illustrated. p. 24.
  12. ^ Lee, Linda (July 18, 1999). "A night out with Oliver Platt; a wash and a shampoo". The New York Times. Retrieved March 10, 2008.
  13. ^ "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, Massachusetts. January 10, 2003. Archived from the original on September 18, 2016.
  14. ^ Shister, Gail (Fall 2004). "It's Showtime! Former classmates and friends find themselves starring together in a new television series". Tufts Magazine. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016.
  15. ^ Lipton, Brian Scott (March 31, 2006). "Playing Huff". Theater Mania. Archived from the original on July 31, 2008. Retrieved November 7, 2009.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Horwitz, Simi (May 10, 2006). "Back stage; Oliver Platt plots his career without a map". VNU Entertainment Newswire.
  17. ^ "Face of the day: Oliver Platt". Wales on Sunday. August 11, 2002. p. 48.
  18. ^ a b c Rowe, Douglas (October 27, 1998). "The ubiquitous Oliver Platt". Associated Press Newswires.
  19. ^ a b King, Dennis (July 19, 1999). "Swimming with the crocs: Oliver Platt knows a thing or two about oddball characters". Tulsa World.
  20. ^ a b Gilbert, Matthew (October 2, 2000). "'Deadline' misses, and that's a crime". Living. The Boston Globe.
  21. ^ Challen, Paul (2001). Inside the West Wing. Toronto: ECW Press. ISBN 1-55022-468-9.
  22. ^ a b c "Oliver Platt joins ABC political comedy". Reuters News. March 9, 2007.
  23. ^ a b 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.
  24. ^ Hartl, John (December 25, 2005). "Casanova: supporting actor Oliver Platt saves comedy's flow". The Seattle Times. Retrieved March 10, 2008.
  25. ^ "Oliver Platt, Donald Byrd receive Tony award nominations". US Fed News. June 5, 2006.
  26. ^ "Pinstripe epic". New York Post. September 20, 2006.
  27. ^ "Theater : Guys & Dolls". The New York Times. Retrieved July 1, 2016.
  28. ^ "Playbill News: Adelaide's New Lament: Broadway's Guys and Dolls to Close June 14". Archived from the original on June 12, 2009. Retrieved June 23, 2009.
  29. ^ Fleming, Mike (August 16, 2010). "Oliver Platt Joins X-Men: First Class". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 16, 2010.
  30. ^ "The Oranges official website". Welcometooranges.com. Retrieved September 4, 2012.
  31. ^ "Dorothy of Oz official website". Dorothyofoz.com. Retrieved September 4, 2012.
  32. ^ "Oliver Platt, Molly Parker, Barbara Hershey And Aiden Longworth Join "The 9th Life of Louis Drax" As Production Begins In Vancouver". Miramax.com. Archived from the original on May 9, 2018. Retrieved July 1, 2016.
  33. ^ "WEDDINGS; Camilla Campbell, Oliver Platt". The New York Times. September 13, 1992. Retrieved March 10, 2008.
  34. ^ Writer, Dennis King World Entertainment. "Swimming with the crocs". Tulsa World. Retrieved June 19, 2021.
  35. ^ Star Map of North Haven Island | Portland Magazine Retrieved April 14, 2017.
  36. ^ a b c Gittleson, Ben (February 28, 2008). "Light on the Hill Award offered to Pfizer CEO". Tufts Daily. Archived from the original on March 3, 2008. Retrieved March 10, 2008.