The Info List - Peter Graves

James Arness (brother, deceased) Military career

Allegiance United States

Service/branch United States
United States
Army Air Force

Years of service 1944-45[1]

Rank Corporal

Peter Graves
Peter Graves
(born Peter Duesler Aurness; March 18, 1926 – March 14, 2010) was an American film and television actor. He was best known for his role as Jim Phelps
Jim Phelps
in the CBS
television series Mission: Impossible from 1967 to 1973 (original) and from 1988 to 1990 (revival). His elder brother was actor James Arness
James Arness
(1923–2011). Graves was also known for his portrayal of airplane pilot Captain Clarence Oveur in the 1980 comedy film Airplane!
and its 1982 sequel Airplane II: The Sequel.


1 Early life 2 Career 3 Personal life 4 Death 5 Awards 6 Complete filmography 7 Partial television credits 8 References 9 External links

Early life[edit] Peter Graves
Peter Graves
was born Peter Duesler Aurness on March 18, 1926, in Minneapolis, Minnesota,[2][3] the son of Rolf Cirkler Aurness (1894–1982), a businessman, and his wife Ruth (née Duesler, died 1986), a journalist. Graves' ancestry was Norwegian, German, and English. The family name originally was "Aursnes", but when Rolf's Norwegian father, Peter Aursnes, immigrated to New York City in 1887, he changed the spelling.[4] Peter used the stage name "Graves", a maternal family name,[5] to honor his mother's family, and also so as to not be confused with his older brother, James Arness, the star of the television series Gunsmoke. Graves graduated from Southwest High School in 1944. He served in the United States
United States
Army Air Forces during World War II
World War II
reaching the rank of corporal.[1] After demobilisation, Graves enrolled at the University of Minnesota
on the G.I. Bill, and was a member of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. Career[edit] Graves appeared in more than 70 films, television shows, and television movies during his career. In 1955, Graves joined the NBC television series Fury, as the rancher and adoptive single father, Jim Newton.[6][7] Graves also was featured in the 1953 World War II
World War II
film, Stalag 17.[8] From 1960 to 1961, Graves starred as leading character Christopher Cobb in 34 episodes of the TV series Whiplash.[8] In the storyline, Cobb is an American who arrives in Australia
in the 1850s to establish the country's first stagecoach line, using a bullwhip rather than a gun to fight the crooks he encounters.[6] The series also starred Anthony Wickert. Graves also starred in the British ITC series Court Martial, playing U.S. Army lawyer Major Frank Whittaker (one of the series' two American leads starring opposite Bradford Dillman's Captain David Young), as well as guest roles in such series as Alfred Hitchcock Presents,[8] Cimarron City, Route 66, and The Invaders,(episode "Moonshot"). In 1967, Graves was recruited by Desilu Studios to replace Steven Hill
Steven Hill
as the lead actor on Mission: Impossible. Graves portrayed the iconic character of James Phelps, the sometimes-gruff director of the Impossible Missions Force, for the six following seasons of the series.[6][7] After the series ended in 1973, Graves played a cameo-type support role in the feature film Sidecar Racers in Australia
which was released in 1975. Graves also made a guest appearance in the teen soap opera Class of 74 in mid-1974, playing himself.[8] Graves was cast as Palmer Kirby in the 1983 ABC miniseries, The Winds of War.[9] He played opposite Robert Mitchum, Jan Michael Vincent, Deborah Winters and Ali MacGraw
Ali MacGraw
in what became in 1983, the second-most watched miniseries of all time (after Roots).[7][10] During this time, he became the host of PBS' Discover: The World of Science, based on Discover Magazine. After playing mainly serious roles in the 1970s, he appeared as Captain Clarence Oveur in the early 1980s comedies Airplane!
and Airplane II: The Sequel.[6][7][11] In 1988, a Hollywood
writers' strike resulted in a new Mission: Impossible series being commissioned. Graves was the only cast member from the original series to return as a regular, reprising his role as James Phelps, though others (most notably Greg Morris, whose son Phil was a regular in this version) made guest appearances.[6] The series was filmed in Australia, and Graves made his third journey there for acting work. The new version of Mission: Impossible lasted for two seasons, ending in 1990. Bookending his work on Mission: Impossible, Graves starred in two pilot films called Call to Danger, which were an attempt to create a Mission: Impossible-style series in which Graves played a government agent (the Bureau of National Resources) who recruited civilians with special talents for secret missions.[6][12][13]

Graves attending a ceremony to receive a star on the Hollywood
Walk of Fame in October 2009

Graves with wife Joan Endress in October 2009

The 1960s version of the pilot, according to Patrick White in The Complete Mission: Impossible Dossier (which White reports was actually the second such pilot, but Graves was not involved in the first), is credited with winning Graves the role of Phelps; after Mission: Impossible ended in 1973, Graves filmed a third version of the pilot (this one structured as a made-for-TV movie), but it did not sell as a series. The concept was later used in the brief 1980s adventure series Masquerade. During the 1990s, he hosted and narrated the documentary series Biography on A&E.[6] He also acted in a number of films featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000, which subsequently featured running jokes about Graves's Biography work and presumed sibling rivalry with Arness. The films that have been featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000 include SST: Death Flight, It Conquered the World, Beginning of the End, and Parts: The Clonus Horror. The film Killers from Space
Killers from Space
was featured in The Film Crew, Michael J. Nelson's follow-up to MST3K.[6] Graves himself parodied his Biography work in the film Men in Black II, hosting an exposé television show. He also played Colonel John Camden on the television series 7th Heaven. Graves refused to reprise the role of Jim Phelps
Jim Phelps
(played by Jon Voight) in the 1996 film update of Mission: Impossible, after the character was revealed to be a traitor and the villain of the film. In the film, Phelps murders three fellow IMF agents, and is killed in a helicopter crash at the end, a decision that disappointed Graves and fellow cast members, and upset many fans of the original series. [11] On October 30, 2009, Graves was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6667 Hollywood
Blvd.[11] AirTran Airways
AirTran Airways
featured Graves in a series of web-only "Internetiquette" videos in 2009 in which Graves appeared in a pilot's uniform and references classic Airplane!
lines.[14] The videos were part of an AirTran Airways
AirTran Airways
campaign to promote their in-flight wireless Internet access.[14] In the summer of 2009, Graves signed on as a spokesman for reverse mortgage lender American Advisors Group.[15] Graves' final project was narrating the computer game epic Darkstar: The Interactive Movie,[16] released November 5, 2010. Personal life[edit]

Handprints of Peter Graves
Peter Graves
in front of Hollywood
Hills Amphitheater at the Disney's Hollywood
Studios theme park

Graves was a devout Christian.[17] He was married to Joan Endress Graves from 1950[3] until his death. On March 6, 1984, Graves was hospitalized at Tahoe Forest Hospital for a fractured jaw among other injuries sustained from a fall on icy Lake Tahoe road the previous weekend, Graves receiving 100 stitches to his lower lip during his stay.[18] Death[edit] After returning from a brunch on March 14, 2010, Graves collapsed and died of a heart attack, four days before his 84th birthday.[19] Awards[edit] Graves was awarded a Golden Globe Award
Golden Globe Award
in 1971 for his role as Jim Phelps in the series Mission: Impossible.[20] He also received nominations for an Emmy Award[21] and Golden Globe awards[22] in other seasons of that show. Graves also won a Primetime Emmy Award
Emmy Award
for outstanding informational series in 1997 as host of Biography.[20] Complete filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes

1951 The Golden Year

1951 Rogue River Pete Dandridge

1951 Up Front Military Policeman Uncredited

1951 Angels in the Outfield Radio Announcer Uncredited

1951 Fort Defiance Ned Tallon

1952 The Congregation

1952 Red Planet Mars Chris Cronyn

1953 Stalag 17 Sgt. Frank Price

1953 War Paint Trooper Tolson

1953 East of Sumatra Cowboy

1953 Beneath the 12-Mile Reef Arnold Dix

1954 Killers from Space Dr. Doug Paul Martin

1954 The Yellow Tomahawk Walt Sawyer

1954 The Raid Capt. Frank Dwyer

1954 A Man of Many Ideas John Wanamaker TV movie

1954 Black Tuesday Peter Manning

1955 The Long Gray Line Cpl. Rudolph Heinz

1955 The Man Who Tore Down the Wall Dr. James Ewing TV movie

1955 Robbers' Roost Heesman

1955 Wichita Morgan

1955 The Night of the Hunter Ben Harper

1955 The Naked Street Joe McFarland

1955 Fort Yuma Lt. Ben Keegan

1955 The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell Capt. Bob Elliott

1956 It Conquered the World Dr. Paul Nelson

1956 Hold Back the Night Lt. Lee Couzens

1956 Canyon River Bob Andrews

1957 Bayou Martin Davis

1957 Beginning of the End Dr. Ed Wainwright

1957 Death in Small Doses Agent/Tom Kaylor

1958 Shampoo Van Weyden

1959 A Stranger in My Arms Donald Ashton Beasley

1961 Las Vegas Beat Bill Ballin TV movie

1964 Mr. Kingston

TV movie

1965 A Rage to Live Jack Hollister

1965 Attack of the Eye Creatures Narrator of USAF Briefing Film (uncredited) TV movie

1966 Texas Across the River Capt. Stimpson

Valley of Mystery Ben Barstow TV movie

1967 The Ballad of Josie Jason Meredith

1968 Sergeant Ryker Maj. Whitaker Archive footage

1968 Call to Danger Jim Kingsley TV movie

1969 The Five Man Army Dutchman

1969 Mission: Impossible vs. the Mob Jim Phelps Compilation of both parts of the two-part Mission: Impossible episode "The Council" re-edited and released to European theaters

1973 Call to Danger Doug Warfield TV movie

1973 The President's Plane Is Missing Mark Jones TV movie

1974 Scream of the Wolf John Wetherby TV movie

The Underground Man Lew Archer TV movie

1974 Where Have All The People Gone? Steven Anders TV movie

1975 Sidecar Racers Carson

1975 Dead Man on the Run Jim Gideon TV movie

1976 The Mysterious Monsters Himself Documentary narrator

1977 SST: Death Flight Paul Whitley TV movie

1977 High Seas Hijack Elliott Rhoades English Version

1978 The Gift of the Magi O. Henry TV movie

1979 Missile X – Geheimauftrag Neutronenbombe Alec Franklin Also known as Teheran Incident and Cruise Missile

Spree Kandaris

1979 The Rebels George Washington

1979 Parts: The Clonus Horror Jeff Knight

1979 Death Car on the Freeway Lieutenant Haller TV movie

1980 The Memory of Eva Ryker Mike Rogers

1980 Airplane! Captain Clarence Oveur

1981 300 Miles for Stephanie Captain McIntyre TV movie

1981 Best of Friends Nick Adams TV movie

1981 The Guns and the Fury Mark Janser

1982 Savannah Smiles Harland Dobbs

1982 Airplane II: The Sequel Captain Clarence Oveur

1984 Aces Go Places 3 Tom Collins Cameo role in a Hong Kong movie

1987 Number One with a Bullet Capt. Ferris

1987 If It's Tuesday, It Still Must Be Belgium Mr. Wainwright TV movie

1993 Addams Family Values Host

1999 House on Haunted Hill Himself

2001 These Old Broads Bill TV movie

2002 Men in Black II Himself

2003 Looney Tunes: Back in Action Host of Civil Defense Film Uncredited

2003 With You in Spirit Hal Whitman TV movie

2010 Jack's Family Adventure Uncle George Vickery TV movie

Partial television credits[edit]

Year Title Role Notes

1955-1960 Fury (TV series) Newton / Cyrus

1959-60 Whiplash Christopher Cobb

1966 Branded Senator Keith Ashley

1967 The Invaders Gavin Lewis 1 episode

1967-1973 Mission: Impossible Jim Phelps

1979 Buck Rogers in the 25th Century Major Noah Cooper Episode "Return of the Fighting 69th"

1983 The Winds of War Palmer 'Fred' Kirby Miniseries

1984 Murder, She Wrote Dr. Edmund Gerard Episode "Lovers and Other Killers"

1988 Mission: Impossible Jim Phelps Revival of the original series

1988 War and Remembrance Palmer Kirby

1991 The Golden Girls Jerry Kennedy

1996-2007 7th Heaven John 'The Colonel' Camden

2005 House Myron

2006 Cold Case Anton Bikker 1 episode

2007 American Dad! Mr. Pibb

2007 WordGirl Mr. Callahan Voice Only


^ a b "Graves, Peter, Cpl". www.airforce.togetherweserved.com. Retrieved February 8, 2017.  ^ "Peter Graves: Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved 2008-02-06.  ^ a b " Peter Graves
Peter Graves
Biography". Film Reference. Retrieved 2008-02-06.  ^ Ancestry of James Arness
James Arness
Archived 2010-09-26 at the Wayback Machine. ^ James Arness, James E. Wise Jr. (2001) "James Arness: an Autobiography", ISBN 0-7864-1221-6, McFarland & Company Inc., Accessed March 15, 2010 ^ a b c d e f g h InBaseline
Database [1][permanent dead link] ^ a b c d AmericaMovie Biographies (Peter Graves) ^ a b c d Turner Classic Movies
Turner Classic Movies
(Peter Graves) [2] ^ The Winds of War at the Turner Classic Movie Database [3] ^ "Top 15 Miniseries
of all Time". Listverse. Retrieved 3 March 2015.  ^ a b c "'Mission: Impossible' actor Peter Graves
Peter Graves
dead at 83". CNN. 15 March 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-15.  ^ Call to Danger
Call to Danger
(1968) (TV) on IMDb ^ Call to Danger
Call to Danger
(1973) (TV) on IMDb ^ a b "Internetiquette"[permanent dead link] AirTran Airways. Retrieved 2010-03-15. ^ "aargreverse.com". aargreverse.com. Archived from the original on 2012-03-04. Retrieved 2012-08-03.  ^ "Peter Graves". FamousDEAD. Retrieved 2012-08-03.  ^ Ronald Bergan. " Peter Graves
Peter Graves
obituary". the Guardian. Retrieved 3 March 2015.  ^ "Actor Peter Graves
Peter Graves
was hospitalized Tuesday in intensive care..." UPI. March 6, 1984.  ^ My-Thuan Tran (March 15, 2010). " Peter Graves
Peter Graves
dies at 83; star of TV's 'Mission: Impossible". Los Angeles
Los Angeles
Times. Retrieved 2010-03-15.  ^ a b Michael Pollak (March 15, 2010). "Peter Graves, 'Mission: Impossible' Star, Dies at 83". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-03-14.  ^ "Emmy Awards 1969". IMDb. Retrieved 2010-03-15.  ^ "Mission: Impossible". Golden Globe awards. Archived from the original on 2010-05-07. Retrieved 2010-03-15. 

External links[edit]

Biography portal

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Peter Graves.

Peter Graves
Peter Graves
on IMDb Peter Graves
Peter Graves
at the Internet Broadway Database Peter Graves
Peter Graves
at the TCM Movie Database Peter Graves
Peter Graves
at AllMovie Biography and filmography at Brian's Drive-In Theater Peter Graves
Peter Graves
at The New York Times

v t e

Golden Globe Award
Golden Globe Award
for Best Actor – Television Series Drama

Mike Connors
Mike Connors
(1969) Peter Graves
Peter Graves
(1970) Robert Young (1971) Peter Falk
Peter Falk
(1972) James Stewart
James Stewart
(1973) Telly Savalas
Telly Savalas
(1974) Robert Blake/ Telly Savalas
Telly Savalas
(1975) Richard Jordan (1976) Edward Asner (1977) Michael Moriarty (1978) Edward Asner (1979) Richard Chamberlain
Richard Chamberlain
(1980) Daniel J. Travanti (1981) John Forsythe
John Forsythe
(1982) John Forsythe
John Forsythe
(1983) Tom Selleck
Tom Selleck
(1984) Don Johnson
Don Johnson
(1985) Edward Woodward
Edward Woodward
(1986) Richard Kiley
Richard Kiley
(1987) Ron Perlman
Ron Perlman
(1988) Ken Wahl
Ken Wahl
(1989) Kyle MacLachlan
Kyle MacLachlan
(1990) Scott Bakula
Scott Bakula
(1991) Sam Waterston
Sam Waterston
(1992) David Caruso
David Caruso
(1993) Dennis Franz
Dennis Franz
(1994) Jimmy Smits
Jimmy Smits
(1995) David Duchovny
David Duchovny
(1996) Anthony Edwards
Anthony Edwards
(1997) Dylan McDermott
Dylan McDermott
(1998) James Gandolfini
James Gandolfini
(1999) Martin Sheen
Martin Sheen
(2000) Kiefer Sutherland
Kiefer Sutherland
(2001) Michael Chiklis
Michael Chiklis
(2002) Anthony LaPaglia
Anthony LaPaglia
(2003) Ian McShane
Ian McShane
(2004) Hugh Laurie
Hugh Laurie
(2005) Hugh Laurie
Hugh Laurie
(2006) Jon Hamm
Jon Hamm
(2007) Gabriel Byrne
Gabriel Byrne
(2008) Michael C. Hall
Michael C. Hall
(2009) Steve Buscemi
Steve Buscemi
(2010) Kelsey Grammer
Kelsey Grammer
(2011) Damian Lewis
Damian Lewis
(2012) Bryan Cranston
Bryan Cranston
(2013) Kevin Spacey
Kevin Spacey
(2014) Jon Hamm
Jon Hamm
(2015) Billy Bob Thornton
Billy Bob Thornton
(2016) Sterling K. Brown
Sterling K. Brown

Authority control

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