FilmEdge salutes actor Peter Graves, star of memorable films ranging from STALAG 17 to AIRPLANE! and the popular TV series MISSION:IMPOSSIBLE, who has died of natural causes at the age of 83.
After strong supporting roles in Billy Wilder’s World War II prison camp drama STALAG 17 and the 1958 suspense thriller NIGHT OF THE HUNTER, Graves may be best remembered as Jim Phelps from 1967 – 1973 hit spy series MISSION:IMPOSSIBLE. The series was a personal favorite of mine growing up and made Graves a weekly fixture on our family’s television for six years.
In a career spanning nearly six decades, Graves extended his career in the unexpected comedic role of Captain Clarence Oveur in the 1980 hilarious film hit, AIRPLANE! From a film rife with countless quotable lines of dialogue, Graves’ deadpan delivery of blurbs like “Joey, do you like movies about gladiators?” or “You ever seen a grown man naked?” made an indelible mark on pop culture for the actor.
Later in his career, Graves hosted 59 episodes of reality series BIOGRAPHY on the Arts & Entertainment Network over a dozen years.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Graves was found dead in his Pacific Palisades home, apparently of natural causes.