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Obituary: Victor Platt

Victor Platt Victor Platt

Victor Platt was an unsung hero of television and film in the second half of the last century. A conscientious and reliable character actor, he accrued nearly 170 credits in a 30-year career.

He was born Victor William Elphick in Highbury, London, the son of the organ builder William Elphick, and began his career on stage with local repertory companies such as Newquay and Perth (1942), the Chelsea Players, Henley-on-Thames (1943), the Tavistock Players (1947) and the Busman’s Holiday Group, Chepstow (1948).

His first significant stage role came in 1950 as Engstrand in Henrik Ibsen’s Ghosts at the Gateway Theatre, London, a role The Stage described as “a fine character study”. The same year he was heard on radio alongside Bernard Miles in the Harold Brighouse comedy Zack.

Early TV appearances included Abraham and the Apothecary (Romeo and Juliet, 1947), several roles opposite William Devlin’s King Lear (1948) and the television critic in Terry Thomas’ comedy How Do You View? (1951).

For the rest of his career, he was seldom away from the small screen, equally adept in primetime drama, classic serials and comedy – supporting stars such as Frankie Howerd, Charlie Drake and Tony Hancock, in whose 1961 film, The Rebel, he also appeared.

An active Equity member, he contributed features and letters about union matters to The Stage on a regular basis.

After he retired from acting, he enjoyed a successful career as a sculptor and model maker under his own name of William Elphick.

Victor Platt was born on October 30, 1920, and died on January 30, aged 96.