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    Sunday, March 14, 2010

    CNN - 'Mission: Impossible' actor Peter Graves found dead

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    'Mission: Impossible' actor Peter Graves found dead

    Actor Peter Graves, best known for his starring role on TV's "Mission: Impossible," was found dead Sunday at his home, according to a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Police Department. He was 83.

    There was no sign of foul play in the actor's death, officer Karen Rayner said.

    Graves portrayed the character Jim Phelps for all but one of the seven years "Mission: Impossible" ran on CBS, from 1967-1973. He won a Golden Globe in 1971 for his work on the show, and he was also nominated for an Emmy.

    He reprised the role from 1988 to 1990 when the show resurfaced on ABC.

    In an interview with CNN in 1996, Graves expressed disappointment with Hollywood's movie version of "Mission: Impossible" -- starring Tom Cruise -- which included none of the stars from the original TV series. Actor Jon Voigt played the Phelps character.

    "I am sorry that they chose to call him Phelps," he said at the time. "They could have solved that very easily by either having me in a scene in the very beginning, or reading a telegram from me saying, 'Hey boys, I'm retired, gone to Hawaii. Thank you, good-bye, you take over now.'"

    Graves also appeared as Capt. Clarence Oveur in the 1980 movie spoof "Airplane!" -- a role he originally turned down, according to the Web's Internet Movie Database. He changed his mind after meeting with the film's writers, according to IMDb.

    In recent years, Graves was part of a larger group that won an Outstanding Informational Series Emmy for the 1997 TV documentary "Judy Garland: Beyond the Rainbow." Graves hosted the documentary.

    He is survived by his wife, Joan Endress, and three daughters, Kelly, Claudia and Amanda Graves, according to IMDb.

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