Peter Graves, best known as the cool team leader of Mission: Impossible, has died aged 83.
Graves died of an apparent heart attack outside his Los Angeles home, about a week shy of his 84th birthday, his publicist said.
The solidly-spoken Graves appeared in dozens of films and television shows in a career of nearly 60 years but it was his role as Jim Phelps, leader of a gang of special agents who battled evil conspirators in the long-running spy series that is most remembered.
The show ran on CBS from 1967 to 1973 and was revived on ABC from 1988 to 1990 with Graves back as the only original cast member when it was shot in Melbourne and Queensland.
His earliest films included Winning Your Wings (1942), Up Front (1951), Fort Defiance (1951) and Stalag 17 (1953) but there was The Night of the Hunter (1955), Canyon River (1956), A Stranger in My Arms (1959), The Five Man Army (1969), and his hilarious role in Flying High (1980 aka Airplane). Later films included Addams Family Values (1993), House on Haunted Hill (1999), Men in Black II (2002) and Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003).
He had roles in Cold Case, House, Diagnosis Murder, The Golden Girls, War and Remembrance, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Disneyland, Simon and Simon and more.
He credited clever writing for the success of Mission: Impossible.
“It made you think a little bit and kept you on the edge of your seat because you never knew what was going to happen next,” he once said.
Source: Associated Press