Sunday, March 14, 2010

RIP Peter Graves

Peter Graves dead at 83

By Anthony Venutolo/The Star-Ledger
March 14, 2010, 9:44PM

Early Sunday, actor Peter Graves was found dead at his home, says a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Police Department. Officer Karen Rayner said there was no sign of foul play in the actor's death.

Graves' publicist, Sandy Brokaw, says the actor died Sunday shortly after returning to his Los Angeles home from brunch with his family.

From 1960-1961, Graves starred as Christopher Cobb in 34 episodes of the TV series "Whiplash." It centered on an American who arrived in Australia in the 1850s to establish the country's first stagecoach line.

Graves also appeared in such TV shows as "Court Martial," "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" and "Route 66."

The 83 year-old actor is best known for his starring role on TV's "Mission: Impossible" as Jim Phelps for six seasons. In 1967, Graves was recruited by Desilu Studios to replace Steven Hill as the lead actor on the spy series. It centered the sometimes gruff leader of the Impossible Missions Force or IMF. The spy series ran on television from 1967-1973.

Graves also starred as Capt. Clarence Oveur in the 1980 movie spoof "Airplane!"

The actor is the younger brother of actor James Arness ("Gunsmoke").

Graves attended Southwest High School (Class of 1944) and the University of Minnesota, where he was a member of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity.

Graves married Joan Endress in 1950. They had three daughters: Kelly, Claudia and Amanda, and six grandchildren.

GRAVES, Peter (Peter Graves Aurness)
Born: 3/18/1926, Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A.
Died: 3/14/2010, Pacific Palisades, California, U.S.A.

Peter Graves westerns – actor: director:
Fort Defiance – 1951 (Ned Tallon)
War Paint – 1953 (Trooper Tolson)
The Yellow Tomahawk – 1954 (Sawyer)
Robbers Roost – 1955 (Heesman)
Wichita – 1955 (Morgan)
Fort Yuma – 1955 (Lt. Ben Keegan)
Fury (TV) – 1955-1960 (Jim Newton)
Canyon River – 1956 (Bob Andrews)
Cimarron City (TV) – 1959 (Jens)
Whiplash (TV) – 1961 (Christopher Cobb)
The Virginian (TV) – 1964 Robert Gaynor)
Laredo (TV) – 1966 (Ben Conrad)
Gunsmoke (TV) – 1966 [director]
Branded (TV) – 1966 (Senator Keith Ashley)
Daniel Boone (TV) – 1966 (Logan Harris)
Gallegher Goes West Crusading Reporter (TV) – 1966 (Marshal Neimeyer)
The Ballad of Josie – 1967 (Jason Meredith)
The Five Man Army – 1969 (The Dutchman)

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