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celebrity news

Peter Graves, star of Mission: Impossible, dead at 83

Posted by Patrick Sauriol on Sunday, March 14, 2010

Throughout his six decades as a working actor Peter Graves became known to three different generations. When he began his career in the early 1950s, Graves became a leading man, a square-jawed hero. That image gave him the job serving as the agency director when ABC launched its spy adventure series Mission: Impossible. Graves' role as Jim Phelps, the no-nonsense commander that assigned agents missions on tape that would soon self-destruct, became the defining role of his career.

When the makers of Airplane! came calling on Graves in 1979, they were banking on audiences remembering Jim Phelps. Graves' Airplane! character, Captain Oveur, delivered his lines in the same deadly serious manner as Jim Phelps, it's just that the things that Graves was saying were so completely the opposite of what audiences expected to hear -- and they laughed. It's testament to the comedic genius of Airplane! creators Jim Abrahams and Jerry and David Zucker -- and the delivery of Graves -- that the line "Billy, have you ever been to a Turkisk prison?" is still heard mentioned by thirtysomethings today.

By the time the decade of the 1990s came about Peter Graves accepted his third job that became synonymous with his identity. As the host of A&E's Biography, Graves provided the narration for hundreds of episodes throughout the series 16 year run. He also won an Emmy for his Biography work.

On March 14, 2010, four days before his 84th birthday, Peter Graves was returning home with his family from a Sunday brunch when he collapsed outside his family home. Graves' agent has told reporters that the cause of death was a heart attack. He is survived by his wife Joan, who has was married to for 60 years, three daughters and six grandchilren.

 

Kaeos
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Posted: 10 years 2 weeks ago

#1 Haim. #2 Graves. #3?

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