'Mission: Impossible' star Peter Graves dies in LA

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

March 15, 2010

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Peter Graves, star of the television series "Mission Impossible" and the "Airplane" films, has died.

Graves' publicist, Sandy Brokaw, says the actor died Sunday shortly after returning to his Los Angeles home from brunch with his family. He was 83.

Graves was best known for his portrayal of Jim Phelps, leader of a gang of special agents who battled evil conspirators in the long-running television series "Mission: Impossible."

Normally cast as a hero, he turned in an unforgettable performance early in his career as the treacherous Nazi spy in Billy Wilder's 1953 prisoner-of-war drama "Stalag 17."

He also masterfully lampooned his straight-arrow image when he portrayed bumbling airline pilot Clarence Oveur in the 1980 disaster movie spoof "Airplane!"

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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