Peter Graves died today from what appears to have been a heart attack. Mr. Graves was just four days shy of his 84th birthday.
My first memories of Peter Graves are in his role as Jim Phelps, the leader on the Mission Impossible tv series which ran initially ran from 1967 to 1973. My grandfather loved the show, so if I was spending the night. I’d watch it with him. In fact, it was my grandfather who made me aware that Peter Graves was brother to James Arness [Matt Dillon on Gunsmoke, another show grandpa never missed]. [On a side note, Mission Impossible was revived from 1988 to 1990 with Peter Graves returning in his original role – the only cast member to do so.]
Peter Graves appeared in scores of movies including classics like Stalog 17 and Night of the Hunter. Many folks will also remember Mr. Graves best for his role as the pilot, Clarence Oveur, from the comedy classic, Airplane. Before his starring role on Mission Impossible, Peter Graves made guest appearances in dozens of tv shows including: Route 66, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Branded, Daniel Boone, The Invaders and many others. I’ve always enjoyed Mr. Graves’ appearances, but it’ll be those hours I spent watching Mission Impossible with my grandpa that I’ll remember most fondly.
My thoughts and prayers go out to Peter Graves’ family, friends and fans.