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Peter Graves, star of 'Mission Impossible' and 'Airplane,' dead at 83 [Updated]

March 15, 2010 |  7:21 am


Graves Actor Peter Graves, a.k.a. Captain Clarence Oveur from the comedy "Airplane!" and its sequel, died Sunday morning outside his Pacific Palisades home after returning from a family brunch to celebrate his upcoming 84th birthday. One of his three daughters administered CPR, his publicist told The Times, but she was unable to revive him.

Before "Airplane!," Graves' acting career, which ran from 1942 through this year, had a solidly dramatic bent -- he was best known for his turn as team leader Jim Phelps in the TV series "Mission: Impossible," a role that earned him a 1971 Golden Globe.

Graves married his college sweetheart, Joan Endress, 60 years ago -- they'd met at the University of Minnesota, where, People reports, he enrolled on the G.I. Bill after serving in the Army Air Forces in World War II. His brother was actor James Arness.

Check out the video above for Graves in a classic moment of film comedy -- "What's our vector, Victor?" will never get old.

[Updated at 10:04 a.m.: In addition to an obituary and a photo gallery, the Los Angeles Times has a Classic Hollywood article from when Graves got his star on Hollywood Boulevard. He's featured in The Times' new Hollywood Star Walk as well -- it's a virtual tour of the most famous stretch in town.

Entertainment Weekly has quick quotes from "Airplane!" as well as an appreciation.

The New York Times presents a couple of film clips and expresses the hope that next year the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences doesn't "deem him a television actor and forget about him entirely" in its memorial segment at the Oscars ceremony.]

-- Christie D'Zurilla

Photo: Peter Graves poses during dedication ceremonies for his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in October 2009. Credit: Reed Saxon / Associated Press

Hollywood Star Walk

A new Times database puts readers on the sidewalks of Hollywood, using more than a century of archives to track the lives of the stars, including recent Oscar nominees Jeff Bridges, James Cameron, Matt Damon, Morgan Freeman, Sandra Bullock and Meryl Streep.

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