Peter Graves, who became an icon of 1960s TV as the star of Mission:Impossible, collapsed and died at his house from an apparent heart attack yesterday. He was 83 years old. Graves toiled for years as a supporting actor in feature films, having made an impression as a German.spy among American POWS in the 1953 classic Stalag 17. Graves was the star of the popular 1950s TV western series Fury. Both he and his younger brother James Arness, who starred in Gunsmoke, found major success on CBS. Graves played agent Jim Phelps in the hit 1960s spy show Mission: Impossible and the opening of every episode, in which a tape self-destructs after reading him his assignment, remains an iconic aspect of TV history.The role won him a Golden Globe award. Graves was generally cast as stalwart heroic types, but in the 1980 big screen comedy Airplane! he displayed a deft flair for comedy as the macho airline pilot with a penchant for little boys and gladiators. Graves worked consistently over the decades, also hosting the popular Biography TV series for years. For more click here
The Peter Graves article is not 100% accurate.
the mainstay of the series had the mission given on tape and the
self-destructing, there were plenty of episodes without the taped
briefing and also where Phelps would destroy the tape by hand.
responds: That's interesting...I haven't seen the show in so many
years, I must be getting rusty. I never recall Phelps destroying the
tapes manually, but I know better than to argue with a guy who has a
virtual PHD in spy movie culture of the 60s! Thanks for the correction. -