OBIT

Mission: Impossible's Peter Graves Dies

Best known for his role as the spymaster in television’s Mission: Impossible and the host of Biography, Peter Graves died of a heart attack Sunday at the age of 83. But perhaps the performance that brought him the biggest cult following was as Captain Oveur in the movie Airplane!, where he delivered deadpan lines like, “Joey, have you ever been in a Turkish prison?” Graves was born Peter Aurness in Minneapolis and studied drama under the G.I. Bill at the University of Minnesota. He appeared in several classics such as Billy Wilder’s Stalag 17 and Otto Preminger’s Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell, before turning to television. His most famous character was Mission: Impossible’s Jim Phelps, the serious leader of the Impossible Missions Force.