Peter Graves (actor)

Peter Graves (actor)

Infobox actor
name = Peter Graves

caption =
birthname = Peter Aurness
birthdate = birth date and age|1926|3|18
birthplace = Minneapolis, Minnesota
deathdate =
deathplace =
othername =
occupation = Actor
yearsactive =
spouse = Joan Endress (1950-present)
website =
emmyawards = Outstanding Informational Series
1997 "Biography"
goldenglobeawards =
1971 ""
awards =

Peter Graves (born March 18 1926)cite web
url =
title = "Peter Graves: Biography"
work =
publisher = Yahoo!
accessdate = 2008-02-06
] cite web
url =
title = "Peter Graves Biography (1926-)"
work =
publisher =
accessdate = 2008-02-06
] is an American film and television actor. He is known for his starring role in the television series "" from 1967 to 1973, and its , from 1988 to 1990.


Personal life

Graves was born Peter Aurness in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the son of Ruth (née Duesler), a journalist, and Rolf Cirkler Aurness, who worked in business. Graves is a descendant of German, Norwegian and English immigrants. His brother is 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 has been married to Joan Endress since 1950. They have three daughters: Kelly, Claudia and Amanda.


Graves has appeared in more than seventy films, TV series and TV-movies. He is especially well known for the following roles:

* The rancher (Broken Wheel Ranch) and adoptive single father to a son played by child actor Bobby Diamond on the 1950s NBC television series "Fury". The other costar was William Fawcett, who played the housekeeper and general ranch hand.
* Price, a German spy placed among allied POWs in "Stalag 17"
* A father on the run from the law in "Night of the Hunter"
* James (Jim) Phelps, the leader of the elite Impossible Missions Force in the iconic CBS television show, "Mission: Impossible"
* Captain Clarence Oveur in the comedies "Airplane!" and ""
* Colonel John Camden on the WB's "7th Heaven"

From 1960–1961, Graves started as (lead role) Christopher Cobb in 34 episodes of the TV series "Whiplash" as an American who arrived in Australia in the 1850s and set up the country's first stagecoach line. Cobb mainly used a bullwhip rather than a gun to fight the many cowboy crooks he came up against. The series also starred Anthony Wickert as Dan. He had previously starred as Jim Newton in a kids series called "Fury" about a horse. He also starred in "Court Martial" five years later as well as TV shows like "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" and "Route 66".

In 1967, Graves was recruited by Desilu Studios to replace Steven Hill as the lead actor on "". Graves played Jim Phelps, the sometimes gruff leader of the Impossible Missions Force or IMF, for the remaining six seasons of the series.

After the series ended in 1973 Graves traveled to Australia to play a cameo-type support role in feature film "Sidecar Racers" which was released in 1975. Graves also made a guest appearance in teen soap opera "Class of '74" in mid-1974, playing himself.

In 1988, a Hollywood writers' strike resulted in a new "Mission: Impossible" series being commissioned. Graves was the only original cast member to return as a regular (although others made guest appearances). The series was filmed in Australia and Graves made his third journey to that country for ongoing 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 who recruited civilians with special talents for secret missions.cite web
url =
title = "Call to Danger (1973) (TV)"
work = Internet Movie Database
accessdate = 2008-02-06
] The 1960s version of the pilot, according to Patrick White in "The Complete Mission: Impossible Dossier", is credited with winning Graves the role of Phelps; after "Mission: Impossible" ended in 1973, Graves filmed a second version of the pilot, but it did not sell as a series. The concept was later used in the 1980s series "Masquerade".

Between series, Graves had laser treatment on his face to make himself look young by removing wrinkles which unfortunately gave his face an unnaturally smooth look and, as other stars found out later, made it difficult for him to show emotion.Fact|date=December 2007 During the 1990s, he hosted the documentary series "Biography" on A&E.

He also acted in a number of films featured on "Mystery Science Theater 3000", which subsequently featured running jokes about Graves' "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", "Attack of the Eye Creatures", "Beginning of the End", "", and "Killers from Space".

Graves himself parodied his "Biography" work in the film "Men in Black II", hosting an exposé television show.

In the update of "Mission: Impossible", the character of Phelps was reimagined as a traitor who murdered three fellow IMF agents. Although Graves was reportedly offered the role, the character was played in the movie by Jon Voight. It is claimed that he did not want to appear in a version of "Mission: Impossible" that involved Phelps in a villainous role.


He won a Golden Globe award in 1971 for his role as Jim Phelps in the series. He also received nominations for Emmy awards and Golden Globe awards in other seasons.


*"Winning Your Wings" (1942) (short subject)
*"Up Front" (1951)
*"Fort Defiance" (1951)
*"The Congregation" (1952)
*"Red Planet Mars" (1952)
*"Stalag 17" (1953)
*"War Paint" (1953)
*"East of Sumatra" (1953)
*"Beneath the 12-Mile Reef" (1953)
*"Killers from Space" (1954)
*"The Yellow Tomahawk" (1954)
*"The Raid" (1954)
*"Black Tuesday" (1954)
*"Fort Yuma" (1955)
*"The Long Gray Line" (1955)
*"Robbers' Roost" (1955)
*"Wichita" (1955)
*"The Naked Street" (1955)
*"The Night of the Hunter" (1955)
*"The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell" (1955)
*"It Conquered the World" (1956)
*"Hold Back the Night" (1956)
*"Canyon River" (1956)
*"Beginning of the End" (1957)
*"Bayou" (1957)
*"Death in Small Doses" (1957)
*"Wolf Larsen" (1958)
*"A Stranger in My Arms" (1959)
*"A Rage to Live" (1965)
*"Texas Across the River" (1966)
*"The Ballad of Josie" (1967)
*"Mission: Impossible vs. the Mob" (1968) (compilation of episodes released to European theaters)
*"Sergeant Ryker" (1968)
*"The Five Man Army" (1969)
*"Where Have All The People Gone?" (1974 TV Movie)
*"Scream of The Wolf (1974)
*"Sidecar Racers" (1975)
*"The Mysterious Monsters" (1976) (documentary) (narrator)
*"High Seas Hijack" (1978) (in English version)
*"" (1979)
*"Survival Run" (1980)
*"Airplane!" (1980)
*"The Guns and the Fury" (1981)
*"Savannah Smiles" (1982)
*"" (1982)
*"The Winds of War" (1983)
*"Number One with a Bullet" (1987)
*"Addams Family Values" (1993)
*"House on Haunted Hill" (1999)
*"Men in Black II" (2002)


External links

*imdb name|id=0336335|name=Peter Graves
* [ Biography and filmography]

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