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October 13, 2015

'Mission: Impossible' Star Peter Graves Dead at 83

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 14th 2010 11:04PM
Peter GravesPeter Graves died of a heart attack at his Los Angeles home today. He was an actor who seemed to do a little bit of everything, and where you know him from might depend on your age.

He was team leader Jim Phelps on 'Mission: Impossible' in the '60s and also had a memorable role as the pilot Captain Oveur in the first two 'Airplane' movies in the '80s. He was also the host of A&E's 'Biography' for ten years and appeared in several commercials ("I'm Peter Graves..."). You might even know him from voice work he did on 'American Dad.' He had a recurring role on '7th Heaven' and guest roles on 'Cold Case,' 'House,' 'Diagnosis: Murder,' 'The Love Boat,' 'Fantasy Island,' and other shows.

Graves wasn't happy about Phelps being the bad guy in the big-screen 'Mission: Impossible' movie but was actually going to film a cameo in the fourth film in the franchise.

Graves was the brother of another TV icon, 'Gunsmoke's' James Arness. After the jump, the opening to 'Mission: Impossible.'

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Tim McCleese

On "Mission Impossible", Jim Phelps was THE MAN. Peter Graves was a fine actor, and more important, a good man.

March 15 2010 at 8:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'd love to see Mission:Impossible revived for TV again & have the producers do it correctly & not the way the films have done it. I enjoyed both the 1960s version & the late 80s revival,Peter Graves will always be Jim Phelps to me.

March 15 2010 at 4:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joyce N.

I also remember "Fury" from the 50's. Great kid show!

Mostly, I will always remember Peter graves as a classy, elegant, dignified and very handsome man.

March 15 2010 at 3:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I loved the original Mission Impossible tv Show.

March 15 2010 at 2:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Oscar Gordon

Don;t forget your older readers. To many of us, he will always be Jim Newton on "Fury" - a staple of my Saturday mornings in the late 50's and early 60's.

March 15 2010 at 9:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't think ANYONE liked the idea of Phelps being the bad guy in the movie. It was a terrible idea. And you could totally envision the writers smugly patting themselves on the back for doing it too, as if they came up with something original. That movie stunk. I actually hate the movie franchise which is why I didn't even bother after the second movie. What I would have done would be to have Tom Cruise cast as a young Jim Phelps.

March 15 2010 at 7:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

In a cast filled with big names, he also stood out on the "Winds of War" and "War and Remembrance" miniseries.

March 15 2010 at 7:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Memorial for Peter Graves


March 15 2010 at 5:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Professor Zed

Very heartbreaking. Peter Graves was so absolutely cool as Jim Phelps on "Mission: Impossible". And hysterical in "Airplane!"

I was also extremely dismayed when the Tom Cruise fiasco had Phelps turning bad for the money. The writers/producers of those films obviously never watched a minute of the TV series. It was made quite clear that Phelps (in the TV series) was paid quite handsomely. The MI films had no suspense whatsoever, and instead were all action. The only tie-in the films had with the TV show was the title.

And yes, I also enjoyed Peter Graves as the host on "Biography".

March 14 2010 at 11:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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