Mission: Impossible star Graves dead

The star of the Mission: Impossible TV series and Airplane! movies was found dead at his Los Angeles home on Sunday (14Mar10), just days before his 84th birthday. It is thought he died from a heart attack.

Born in 1926, Graves – brother of character actor James Arness – enjoyed a career in Hollywood spanning 60 years, which included playing Jim Phelps in Mission: Impossible between 1967-1973.

He went on to become a cult comedy figure through his role as Captain Oveur in spoofs Airplane! and Airplane II: The Sequel. He later starred in U.S. TV show Biography for over a decade, winning an Emmy for his hosting duties on the series.

Graves was honoured last year (09) with the 2,391st star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Ojai Film Festival.

He is survived by wife Joan, their three daughters, Kelly, Claudia and Amanda, and six grandchildren.