Veteran screen actor and Airplane! star Peter Graves died of a heart attack Sunday morning. He was 83, according to the Associated Press:
Peter Graves, the tall, stalwart actor likely 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,” died Sunday.
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!”
Graves appeared in dozens of films and a handful of television shows in a career of nearly 60 years.
Not only is Airplane! The Holy Bible to me, but I also like movies about gladiators.
Rest in Peace, Peter Graves.