Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Farewell, Peter Graves

Peter Graves passes at the age of 83
Actor best known for role in 'Mission: Impossible' dies


Peter Graves, who is best known for his role in the TV series "Mission: Impossible" and films including "Stalag 17" and "Airplane," died of natural causes in Pacific Palisades, Calif., March 14, 2010. He was 83.

Graves made his mark when he replaced Steven Hill as the lead in CBS' "Mission: Impossible" in 1967. Thesp starred as the gruff leader of the Impossible Missions Force for six seasons, and then returned in 1988 for ABC's remake of the series. He also starred as Capt. Clarence Oveur in 1980 laffer "Airplane" and its sequel.

Born Peter Aurness in Minneapolis, Graves entered showbiz at an early age -- he was a radio announcer at age 16. Following a stint in the Air Force, he studied drama at the U. of Minnesota. Upon graduation he came to Hollywood, where his older brother James Arness was already starring in "Gunsmoke." Graves' first film was 1951's "Rogue River." A host of smaller roles in films, mostly Westerns, and TV followed, including horror films such as "Killers From Space." Among his film credits were a German spy in 1953's "Stalag 17," directed by Billy Wilder, and "The Yellow Tomahawk." In the 1960s, he turned to TV and played the lead in NBC series "Fury," as well as "Whiplash" in 1960-61. He had recurring roles on "The Love Boat," "Fantasy Island" and "7th Heaven."

Though he's best known for his role as Jim Phelps of the "Mission: Impossible" series, for which he won a Golden Globe and was Emmy-nommed, Graves turned down the chance to co-star in Par's 1996 film toplining Tom Cruise.

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YOU SHALL BE MISSED, Peter Graves! The original MISSION IMPOSSIBLE was one of my favorite series in the late 80's (I'm talking about the late 80's "new" series, it was only later that I grew to love the original 1960's series). I was actually obsessed with MISSION IMPOSSIBLE at the time because, at the time, it was the perfect spy series. This is why I loathed the movies because those crappy Tom Cruise movies turned MISSION IMPOSSIBLE into a childish James Bond rip-off. MISSION IMPOSSIBLE was supposed to be about teamwork and it's supposed to be getting in and out of a mission like a shadow, without having to fire a single shot or causing a single explosion. MISSION IMPOSSIBLE was supposed to be about a team who silently walks into a scenario, silently leave the scenario, but having left devastating effects only after they left. They never shoot the guns themselves; they cause the villains to turn on each other. They never get into James Bond-type chases; wherever they go, it's supposed to be as if nothing had passsed by. and their leader Jim Phelps, was an orchestrator and overseer of everything that they do. The role brilliantly played by PETER GRAVES. Peter Graves; the ORIGINAL Mission Impossible hero.
[Check out an episode from the series]

1 comment:

Eugene Stan Engelbert said...

hell be sorely missed!! farewell JIM!!