Flash! Peter Graves dies
As to MI, the role supposedly became available when Steven Hill, who had played the leader of the team in the first season, was unable to work the shooting schedule around his religious beliefs as an Orthodox Jew (which prevented him from working on the Sabbath…after sundown on Friday night).
While Jim Phelps is probably his best known mainstream role, I also associate him with science fiction, especially The Beginning of the End…in which he fought giant grasshoppers.
There’s a special place for me in his involvement in the Sunn Classic documentary, The Mysterious Monsters. This was the first place that a lot of people saw the “Patterson film”, the allegedly real movie of the Bigfoot where it is walking away from the camera and looks over its shoulder that has been widely parodied.
Graves also had a late career high with Airplane!, in which he had the classic “Do you like movies about gladiators?” scene as Captain Oveur.
His older brother, James Arness, was the star of Gunsmoke.
Graves’ last roles were lending his voice presence to videogames.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.