Maybe I plain did not watch the news on the 15th—goodness knows what I was doing to have missed that Peter Graves, best known for his portrayal of Jim Phelps in Mission: Impossible, passed away, after suffering a heart attack. Today would have been his 84th birthday.
I am a huge fan of Mission: Impossible, and no, I do not mean the Tom Cruise movies. I recalled that Mr Graves himself was not a fan of the ﬁrst one and was incredibly diplomatic about it, as men of his generation were.
Graves might not have been the best actor in the ensemble cast (I would give that honour to the late Greg Morris) but what always impressed me was what I knew of his off-screen life. You never heard anything bad about this guy, not even when there were disputes on the set of Mission: Impossible. He had strong values and ethics, a passion for acting (which he continued to do well into his 80s), and was one of the few Hollywood stars who led a normal family life. He married his college sweetheart, Joan, in 1950, and they stuck together for the last 60 years, with three children and six grandchildren.
It’s little wonder Graves found work throughout his career. I’m sure he would have been a great and dependable guy to work with. RIP, and, ‘Good luck, Jim.’
Other cast members who have passed on include Greg Morris and, at a very young age, Tony Hamilton.