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Oliver Platt's Career, Including Chicago Med and The Bear
The actor behind One Chicago's Dr. David Charles has The West Wing, The Bear, and more among his credits.
When Gaffney's Head of Psychiatry is on call, patients can trust they're in good hands. From full-blown psych cases to undetected head injuries, Dr. Charles has been going the extra mile to help his patients and Chicago Med colleagues since the series' 2015 debut. Platt may be a familiar face in Chicago Med, but he has graced dozens of action-packed projects throughout his career.
Dive into Platt's illustrious acting career, from television to the stage, below.
Oliver Platt's Movie Roles from Flatliners to Frost/Nixon
After racking up a ton of stage acting credits, Platt got his big break in movies and television the late 1980s. Platt's film debut was as an FBI agent in Married to the Mob, starring alongside Michelle Pheiffer. That same year, Platt scored a part in Working Girl (1988), alongside Harrison Ford, Sigourney Weaver, and Melanie Griffith: He played Lutz, Griffin's character's sexist and terrible first boss.
He also appeared in Carrie Fisher-penned mother-daughter movie Postcards from the Edge (1990) as Neil Bleene. Platt also landing minor roles year after year in films like Beethoven (1992), Indecent Proposal (1993), A Time to Kill (1996), Bulworth, Dr. Dolittle (1998), The Impostors (1998), Ready To Rumble (2000), The Ice Harvest (2005), and Kinsey (2004).
Some of Platt's film credits from the 2000s include 2012 (2009), Love & Other Drugs (2010), X-Men: First Class (2011), Ginger and Rosa (2013), and Rules Don't Apply (2016).
Read on to look back at some of his biggest break-out roles.
Platt began to gain traction in the industry with the 1990 psychological horror film Flatliners, featuring a star-studded cast of Platt, Kiefer Sutherland, Julia Roberts, William Baldwin, and Kevin Bacon. Platt played Randy Steckle, one of five talented medical students that attempted to discover what happens to the body after it dies by reaching out to unknown forces beyond.
The Three Musketeers (1993)
Another film that contributed to Platt's career taking off was the 1993 film The Three Musketeers. Starring alongside Charlie Sheen, Kiefer Sutherland, and Chris O'Donnell, Platt proved he could spar with the best of the best while portraying Porthos, one of the Three Musketeers.
Platt had a standout role as Paprizzio in Casanova, starring the late Heath Ledger as the titular character. Platt's Paprizzio was Casanova's formidable foe who prevented him from marrying the woman he loved due to an arranged marriage. Platt's role as the gregarious Paprizzio in Casanova earned him the New York Film Critics Online Award for best supporting actor.
Platt also earned widespread applause for his part as investigator Bob Zelnick in the 2007 historical drama Frost/Nixon. The film follows the efforts of Australian journalist David Frost to pin President Richard Nixondown in the aftermath of the 1972 Watergate Scandal and Nixon's 1974 resignation; Zelnick was hired to help Frost prepare The film was well-received in part thanks to its ensemble cast, and earned a nomination for Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture at the 2008 Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Oliver Platt's Television Credits: The West Wing to One Chicago
Platt has landed compelling roles in dozens of beloved film projects, but he auditioned for television roles just as avidly. Platt's first-ever on-screen acting credit was as Norm Jameson in a 1987 episode of The Equalizer, with Platt later landing minor roles in NBC's Miami Vice (1988), Wiseguy (1990), and the television film The Infiltrator (1995). He had one of his first leading roles as Judge Jack Moran in the courtroom dramedy Queens Supreme.
Outside of the outstanding breakout roles below, Platt has guest starred in several other series, such as Bored to Death as Richard Antrem (2009–2011), Fargo as Stavros Milos (2014), and as R.D. in The Good Wife (2015). But as any Chi-Hard is well aware, Chicago Med has the honor of being Platt's biggest television credit.
Look back on his stand-out TV roles below.
The first major television role Platt landed was in Dick Wolf's 2000 journalism drama Deadline on NBC. The series followed the fictional publication New York Ledger, a fictional tabloid newspaper featured in several Law & Order episodes over the years. Platt played Wallace Benton, the star columnist for the newspaper.
The West Wing (2001)
Platt then played Oliver Babish, the fifth and final White House Counsel under President Josiah Bartlet (Martin Sheen), in NBC's political drama The West Wing. Platt's performance earned him his first Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor In A Drama Series in 2001; he featured in eight high-stakes episodes.
He then earned not one but two consecutive Emmy nominations in 2005 and 2006 for his recurring role as Russel Tupper in Huff. The series followed a psychiatrist — much like Platt now plays on Chicago Med — but this time, Platt appeared as the titular character's longtime friend and attorney.
Platt earned yet another Emmy nomination in 2008, this time for Outstanding Guest Actor In A Drama Series for his role as Freddy Pruner in Season 5 of the medical dramedy Nip/Tuck. Platt appeared in four episodes as the endlessly entertaining Freddy, the closeted boyfriend of Hearts ‘n Scalpels producer Dawn Budge (Rosie O’Donnell).
The Big C (2010–2013)
Platt appeared in all four tear-jerking seasons of The Big C, a series that followed a high school teacher named Cathy Jamison who was diagnosed with cancer, prompting her to take a new lease on life. Platt starred as Cathy's husband, Paul Jamison, who began the series as a total mess but later became more reliable. The Jamison's marriage was a major emotional beat of the series as Paul struggled to become the husband his wife needed him to be while facing her diagnosis.
Oliver Platt as Jimmy "Cicero" Kalinowski in The Bear (2022-present)
Platt's recent Emmy nomination came from his scene-stealing role as Jimmy "Cicero" Kalinowski in The Bear, another series based in the Windy City. The Bear shines a spotlight on a Chicago restaurant and its dedicated staff, led by the exhausted but hellbent head chef Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto (Jeremy Allen White). The Bear flaunts a powerhouse ensemble cast featuring fellow 2023 Emmy nominees Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Ayo Edebiri, and Jon Bernthal.
Platt plays the unanimously adored Cicero — often called Uncle Jimmy — who apprehensively agreed to finance Carmy's dream of restoring the beloved restaurant. Whether or not Cicero's finances stem from a criminal lifestyle is a fun topic of debate amongst fans. Carmy has a massive debt to pay back to Cicero, but Cicero has agreed to the loan because if the restaurant fails to pay it back, he'll claim the entire lot on which it sits. Platt brings charm and illusive authority to The Bear, making every moment Cicero has been on-screen a moment no one wants to miss.
Oliver Platt in Chicago Med and One Chicago
As the third installation in the One Chicago franchise, Chicago Med chronicles the non-stop medical action of the Windy City and the series wouldn't be the same without Platt's portrayal as the kind-hearted Dr. Charles.
Dr. Charles is empathetic and nurturing, the exact type of physician one dreams of getting if they're admitted to a hospital. Appearing in several One Chicago crossover episodes, Dr. Charles is one of the most cherished characters in the franchise, largely thanks to Platt's powerhouse performance as the Gaffney psychological go-to.
Platt has appeared in 163 episodes of Chicago Med and has made several One Chicago guest appearances in Chicago P.D. and Chicago Fire over the years, as well as two appearances in the short-lived Chicago Justice series. Platt has proven through decades of primetime appearances that he can take any ensemble cast to new heights, and his One Chicago tenure is the perfect testament to that talent.
Oliver Platt's Theatre Credits: Shining City and Guys and Dolls
Though he'd had several stage roles before his television and film careers took off, Platt made his Broadway debut in 2006 in the ghost story Shining City, where he captivated audiences with his role as John, a recent widower that believed he'd been visited by the ghost of his late wife. Platt earned a Tony nomination for his role.
In 2009, Platt took the stage as the endlessly entertaining Nathan Detroit in the Nederlander Theatre's production of Guys and Dolls.