Monday, March 15, 2010


RIP to Peter Graves, who has passed on at 83. As a kid I endlessly watched Graves as the quintessentially quiet & collected backbone of the Mission: Impossible cast, & I enjoyed his self-spoofing turn in Airplane! & his starring roles in such unintentional comedies as Beginning of the End & Killers From Space. (a condensed version of the latter film may be viewed here, if you're overburdened with free time), & especially the insane 1952 anti-communist screed Red Planet Mars. Just a few weeks ago I watched him play a shady politician in a terrible '70s sci-fi flick called Parts: The Clonus Horror. But his career extended to such substantial films as Stalag 17 & Night of the Hunter.

No one--probably including the self-effacing Graves himself--would mistake him for an actor of great depth or range, yet there was a real charisma behind his stentorian straight-arrow manner, & his laconic, stalwart presence probably did at least as much to make Mission: Impossible a classic as his more flamboyant costars did; it also explains why he had such a long & prolific career. He's one of those show-biz figures one tends to take for granted, then miss when they're gone.

No comments:

Post a Comment