Good-bye and Godspeed, Phelps!
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Publicist Sandy Brokaw says Peter Graves died at his Los Angeles home just after returning home from brunch with his family.
Peter Graves, whose calm and intelligent demeanor was a good fit for the intrigue of "Mission Impossible" as well as the satire of the "Airplane" films, has died.
Graves passed away Sunday just a few days before his 84th birthday outside his home in Los Angeles, publicist Sandy Brokaw said. Graves was returning from brunch with his wife of nearly 60 years and his family when he had what Graves' doctor believed was a heart attack, Brokaw said.
Graves first gained the attention of many baby boomers with the 1950s TV series "Fury," but remained best known for the role of Jim Phelps, leader of a gang of special agents who battled evil conspirators in TV's "Mission: Impossible."
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!"
He'll be missed, but at least he didn't pass away watching gladiator movies with Timmy!