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Movie Mom

Tribute: Peter Graves

posted by Nell Minow

Peter Graves had the square jaw and deep voice of a leading man. His gray hair gave him an aura of, well, gravitas that made him the perfect choice for the head of the Mission: Impossible team in one of the biggest hits of 1960’s television. And it made him the perfect choice to spoof that image of power and authority in Airplane!. The younger brother of “Gunsmoke’s” James Arness, Graves appeared in shlock horror films like “Killers from Space” and “It Conquered the World” and in a memorable role as prisoner of war with something to hide in the Oscar-winning “Stalag 17.” But like his brother, he found his place in a popular television series. And he had a sense of humor about himself, as shown in this charming GEICO commercial. He will be missed.


  • Alicia

    Thanks for this tribute, Nell. I was thinking about showing “Stalag 17″ to my movie club, and this may clinch it. Peter Graves had a very long and distinguished career, however, “Joey, have you ever seen a grown man naked?” will go down in history as one of the all-time funny movie lines.

  • pagansister

    Mission Impossible! (the TV version, not movie). Who can forget the music and his role in it? Good memories.

  • Kevin L.

    An FYI to your readers: The link to the DVD for Mission: Impossible is for the first season, which featured “Law & Order”‘s Steven Hill as the team leader. Worthwhile, but no Peter Graves – he replaced Hill in the second season.

  • Nell Minow

    Thanks, Kevin! I will fix it.

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