Sunday, March 14, 2010

Peter Graves 1926-2010

Which Peter Graves shall we mourn? The star of CBS' Mission: Impossible, whose Jim Phelps commanded the kind of confidence and respect that an Ethan Hunt could only aspire to? The convict who created one of cinema's greatest Macguffins ever when, before his execution, he crammed the stolen greenbacks into his daughter's doll in Night of the Hunter? The stentorian host of one of the best science-info television series ever, Discover? How about 25% of the quartet of Hollywood stalwarts - along with Robert Stack, Lloyd Bridges and Leslie Nielsen - who had America in giggle fits during 1980's Airplane? (Can we ever look at movies about gladiators the same way again?) Here at the Jar, I'd like to remember the star of such wonderfully campy sci-fi extravaganzas as Roger Corman's It Conquered the World and the finest giant-grasshoppers-devour-Chicago movie ever, Beginning of the End. (His classic line "You can't drop an atom bomb on Chicago!" found it's way into Joe Dante's Mant!, the movie-within-a-movie in the delightful Matinee.) Square of jaw, solid of frame, and with a last name of which I can only be envious, Heart in a Jar is mourning them all. After enjoying brunch with his family, Peter Graves died at his home in Los Angeles today of apparent natural causes. He was 83.

Mission accomplished, Peter. We're all so grateful you decided to accept it.

1 comment:

Wings1295 said...

Great actor, class & professional. We need more like him, not less.