In a story from Variety, actor Peter Graves died of natural causes in Pacific Palisades, CA, this Sunday. He was 83.
Graves initially replaced Steven Hill as the lead character in CBS' Mission: Impossible in 1967. He was leader of the Impossible Missions Force for six seasons. He also appeared in the 1988 remake of the series. Graves later starred as Capt. Clarence Oveur in Airplane and its sequel.
He was born Peter Aurness in Minneapolis. He became a radio announcer at age 16. After being in the Air Force, he studied drama at the University of Minnesota. Shortly after this he went to Hollywood. His older brother James Arness was already the star of Gunsmoke. Graves' first foray into film was 1951's Rogue River.
In 1996 he turned down a chance to co-star with Tom Cruise in the big screen version of Mission:Impossible.
He almost didn't do Airplane in 1980. However, he found out that Leslie Nielsen was going to be in the film. Then he met Jerry and David Zucker and that convinced him to do it.
Graves is survived by his brother James Arness, his wife, actress Joan Endress; and three daughters.