Photo of Peter Graves Peter Graves

A dramatic actor who occasionally flirted with comedy roles, Peter Graves was born Peter Aurness in Minneapolis on March 18, 1926, and studied drama at the University of Minnesota. The younger brother of actor James Arness, star of the long-running Western "Gunsmoke," Graves built a diverse body of work in television and film.

Best known for his Golden Globe-winning portrayal of lead agent Jim Phelps on the Cold War spy series "Mission: Impossible" (1967-73), Graves is also remembered for his quote-worthy turn as unflappable pilot Capt. Clarence Oveur in the disaster spoof Airplane (1980). He reprised the part two years later in Airplane II: The Sequel.

Later in life, Graves hosted A&E's acclaimed "Biography" series, winning an Emmy for outstanding informational series in 1997. He died of a heart attack on March 14, 2010, just days before his 84th birthday.

Peter Graves in Airplane!


1980 PG

In this classic, joke-a-second parody of disaster movies, traumatized former combat pilot Ted Striker, an airplane passenger, is forced to land the plane when food poisoning strikes the crew and there's no one else on board who can do the job.

  • Peter Graves in The Night of the Hunter The Night of the Hunter
  • Peter Graves in Stalag 17 Stalag 17
  • Peter Graves in Savannah Smiles Savannah Smiles
  • Peter Graves in Airplane II: The Sequel Airplane II: The Sequel
  • Peter Graves in The Long Gray Line The Long Gray Line
  • Peter Graves in Mission: Impossible Mission: Impossible
  • Peter Graves in These Old Broads These Old Broads
  • Peter Graves in Alfie Alfie
  • Peter Graves in The Winds of War The Winds of War
  • Peter Graves in Clonus Clonus
  • Peter Graves in War and Remembrance War and Remembrance
  • Peter Graves in House on Haunted Hill House on Haunted Hill
  • Peter Graves in The Kent Chronicles The Kent Chronicles
  • Peter Graves in Mission: Impossible: Season 1 Mission: Impossible: Season 1
  • Peter Graves in Billy Graham: A Personal Crusade Billy Graham: A Personal Crusade
  • Peter Graves in The Film Crew: Killers from Space The Film Crew: Killers from Space