Peggy Platt, the tough, unflinching sketch-comedy actor and stand-up comedian who performed in shows including the "Holiday Survival Game Show" and "Ham for the Holidays," died Monday.

Share story

Update 4/4:

Peggy Platt’s memorial service will be held at ACT Theatre on Monday, April 16 at 7:30 p.m. “To honor Peggy,” Leslie Law of theater group Sandbox Radio wrote, “in lieu of flowers or gifts, please make donations to Planned Parenthood.”

From earlier:

Peggy Platt, a comic star of Seattle stages (and, occasionally, screens) died Monday night at the age of 58.

Most Read Entertainment Stories

Unlimited Digital Access: $1 for 4 weeks

“She had complained of difficulty breathing last week and had doctor appointments to cope with it,” said longtime family friend Mark Sticklin. “My best understanding is that there was no air getting to her heart and she died of a heart attack in her sleep.”

Onstage, Ms. Platt was a tough, unflinching sketch-comedy actor and stand-up comedian who performed in the legendary “Holiday Survival Game Show,” “Ham for the Holidays,” and alongside actor/comedian Lisa Koch in the comedy duo Dos Fallopia.

She regularly used this snippet from a 1995 Seattle Times profile in her bios: “Let’s keep this simple: Peggy Platt is a feminist. Peggy Platt is funny. Peggy Platt thinks feminist issues can be funny.”

Offstage, she had a reputation for being just as steely and sometimes cantankerously determined — but consistently hilarious.

“Peggy was one of the biggest-hearted people and funny all the time,” said Patti West, executive director of Theatre Off Jackson, which regularly presented “Ham for the Holidays” and Dos Fallopia. “She could make anything funny. She could read a passage from a government document and make it hysterical.”

West remembers one “Ham for the Holidays” show when Ms. Platt walked onstage wearing a Christmas-tree costume and didn’t say a word, but her confused, why-am-I-wearing-this expression had the audience laughing for a solid two minutes. “Her innate comedic ability was truly amazing.”

West also recalled one performance of “Holiday Survival Game Show” when Ms. Platt was “sick as a dog” and doing a bit in a Santa costume. “I was backstage and she came offstage and just puked all over the stagehands and everybody,” West said, chuckling softly. “They cleaned her up, she turned around, and she marched back onstage. I don’t think anyone in the audience knew.”

Her national marquee moment was the 1987 film “Harry and the Hendersons” (about a family that reluctantly adopts a Sasquatch), when she played a deadpan librarian having an exchange with John Lithgow.

Sticklin said he met Ms. Platt in 1981 while working at a dance-wear shop downtown. “She was opinionated and funny and we had all the same gay friends,” he said. They went to “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” in the University District and concerts by Patti Smith and Elvis Costello. “We were just Seattle kids back in the day,” he said. “That’s what we did.”

Ms. Platt also devoted a lot of free time and talent to the LGBTQ community, from showing up at fundraising events to volunteering for Seattle’s Gay Pride parade in its earliest days. “She was the real friend,” Sticklin said. “She wasn’t the fake ‘Will and Grace’ friend people imagine. She was a leader.”

Ms. Platt, he said, “lived for the city — she is to Seattle what J.P. Patches and Ivar were. I just adored her.”

Details for Ms. Platt’s memorial have not yet been announced.