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Steve Plessy

Plessy circa 2001

Birth Name
Steven Garrett Plessy
Born
May 28, 1935
Died
June 10, 2002 (aged 67)
Years Active
1957-2002
Spouse(s)
Abigail Preasleigh Plessy (1961-2002)

Steven Garrett "Steve" Plessy (May 28, 1935 - June 10, 2002) was an actor best known for his role as Chief Sedgwick in the 1970s sitcom Westfield Patrol, as well as its spinoffs.

Early LifeEdit

Plessy was born in the American state of Kansas. He was the oldest son of Robert Belton Plessy and Joanna Wedgeworths-Plessy. He grew up in rural Kansas, and spent hours working with his father on the family farm. He was a good student in school, and when he graduated from high school, he thought about joining the military, but did not.

CareerEdit

Steve Plessy was discovered by director Hugh D'Anpagelo in 1957. He made his big-screen debut in the summer of that year, starring as Jack Wyslick in the film Greensley Harbor Blues. He went on to star in low-budget movies, half of which he was not credited for. He decided to leave film and go to television in 1969.

Westfield PatrolEdit

Plessy auditioned for the roles of Martin Trappe and Chief Sedgwick in the sitcom Westfield Patrol. He did not get the role of Martin because he was "too bald" for the role; instead, the role of Martin went to Zonie Schultz, who had a full head of hair. Plessy won the role of Chief Sedgwick, a role that called for him to smoke cigarettes. This was no problem for Plessy, as he had started smoking three years earlier. He played the role of the police chief so well that he joked that co-stars Anthony Broward and Larry Kumbayer really felt like he was their boss. He played the role of the police chief on the show from the fall of 1970 to the spring of 1974, when the show ended.

Westfield NightsEdit

In 1974, Plessy reprised his role as Chief Sedgwick in the spin-off series Westfield Nights. Before taping the show, Plessy told producers that he wanted a new car for the show because the one he used in Westfield Patrol had been destroyed. Producers gave him a new car. He also suggested that the interior of "Chief Sedgwick's office" be changed and rearranged. His uniform in the show was also different from the one he wore in Westfield Patrol; his new uniform was closer to green, while his old one was light blue. He also had to get used to taping night scenes, as most of the crimes solved in the series were solved at night. He once told an interviewer that he would drink coffee in the morning and again at dusk to prepare for the scenes. He also admitted that he had to get used to the absence of Schultz; Schultz's character was replaced with Officer Wesley Wyannes, played by Brady Oldenbaum. By the time the show ended in 1976, he, Broward, and Kumbayer were the only three main cast members who were regulars on both "Westfield" sitcoms.

New Days in WestfieldEdit

Plessy once again was cast as Chief Sedgwick in the sitcom New Days in Westfield. He now had to work with mostly newcomers; Anthony Broward was the only other cast member to return. Kumbayer's character was written out as having passed away. He once again had his character's office rearranged and had a water fountain installed[1]. His character was less strict in this series, and he was "more lenient to the new hires than he was to Officer Trappe"[2]. When this series ended in 1979, Plessy stated that if they were making any more spin-offs, he'd not return because all those cigarettes were taking their toll on his body.

After WestfieldEdit

Plessy made a new years resolution on New Year's Day of 1980 to try to stop smoking. He did not pick up one cigarette for three years, and was cast to play a high-school principal in 1981's Life at West Pitts High. He continued to play roles of school faculty members in the 1980s, and played government workers in the 1990s. In 1998, he and the other surviving cast of Westfield Patrol reunited for a "reunion special". Plessy worked with Anthony Broward again in 2001's Need 4 Action, and it would be the last time he ever worked with a Westfield co-star.

DeathEdit

Plessy was looking over a script for an upcoming film when he fell ill on June 8, 2002. He was whisked off to a nearby hospital, where doctors told him he was having a heart attack. He died at 5:30 a.m. on June 10, 2002. He was 67 years old. He left behind his wife of about 41 years and his three children.

References in other mediaEdit

  • Goe Hau's song "Good Television" makes a reference to Plessy's Westfield character, Chief Sedgwick.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Steve Plessy's 1982 preview
  2. Episode "Thanks for Saving My Job"