A MAN WITH A MISSION: A Tribute to Peter Graves (1926-2010)


A MAN WITH A MISSION: A Tribute to Peter Graves (1926-2010)
by Darius Kadivar

Peter Graves ( brother of Gun Smoke Star James Arness ) best known for his role as Jim Phelps in "Mission: Impossible" had a great following in Iran when I was a Teenager. He even came to Iran in the 1970's where he shot two movies. The photo above shows Peter Graves at the Tehran International Film Festival interviewed by Iranian journalists. In an interview he gave many years ago to a French newspaper about his life and career, he mentioned that one of his greatest souveniers as an actor and movie Star was when he went to Iran and was met by an enthusiastic crowd and movie buffs who greeted him with such love and gratitude that astonished him as no where else. Graves was directed on the Mission Impossible series by several directors including Iranian American director Reza S. Badiyi. Every show began with Graves, as Agent Phelps, listening to instructions detailing his team's latest mission on a tape, which self-destructed within seconds of being played. "Your mission, should you decide to accept it..."

The show ran on CBS from 1967 to 1973 and was revived on ABC from 1988 to 1990.

Graves Shot two films in Iran before the Revolution of 1979 one being a Spy Film entited Cruise Missile: Incident in Tehran (1978)and the other was a historic epic directed by Tony Zarindasht entitled The Guns and the Fury (1980). 

As a huge fan of Mission Impossible I was happy to learn that I shared with the Great Star another common point. Graves was also born in my own native town Minneapolis Minnesota.  Peter Graves died 4 days prior to his 84th birthday yesterday on March 14th in Los Angeles.

God Bless ...

See BBC Report:

Mission: Impossible star Peter Graves dies aged 83

'Mission: Impossible' Star Peter Graves Dies:

Mission Impossible a Montage:

Theme Song Mission Impossible:

Unscripted: Peter Graves reflects on a Life in Pictures:


Tony Zarindasht's The Guns and the Fury Starring Peter Graves, and Cameron Mitchell:

(Note: This Iranian Co Production was initially shot in Iran but finally completed in Tunisia due to the Islamic Revolution of 1979)

Stalag 17 (Trailer) Where Peter Graves Played a German Traitor:

Traitor Unmasked ...

Airplane Trailer (1980):

Whiplash starring Peter Graves:

Peter Graves talks about his experience performing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir:

The Man and His Movies:

Recommended Reading:

THE LAST TV TYCOON: Interview with Legendary director Reza Badiyi by Darius Kadivar

Related Blog:

MON CINEMA: The Guns and the Fury (1981)


more from Darius Kadivar
maziar 58

Merci D K

by maziar 58 on

yadesh gerami baad.

reminds me of the nights laying on a rug my eyes glued to our shahab hitachi and......... my mom yelling from kitchen: baba jon boro maghshato tamoom kon.     Maziar


Thanks DK

by bahram9821 on

Thanks DK for a great post, MI was one of my all time favorite.I remember in the 5th grade I learned to play the theme song on my Melodica for the school show, I felt so cool lol.

bajenaghe naghi

Darius jan

by bajenaghe naghi on

I was saddened to hear about Peter Graves passing.  He had a great stage presence and he will be missed.


Darius Kadivar

Thanks to you Both!

by Darius Kadivar on

Yes Graves was Truly a Cool TV Presence!

He Will be missed !



Great tribute DK jan

by Monda on

Yes Reza Badiyi sure made us all proud back in those days.  I don't think I ever missed one single episode of Mission Impossible back in Iran or on late night in LA in the 80's.  Then the comic side of Graves in Airplane! :o))


بالا تر از خطر


Thanks Darius for this tribute to Peter Graves

Mission Impossible was the ultimate action thriller on the Iranian TV. Every teenage boy in the 70’s was glued to TV on weekend nights. It was on right after the Gilligan Island and once in a while when Reza Badiyi was the director, the announcer would proudly say

كار گردان، رضا بديعى

That made me so proud thinking that an Iranian director was responsible for such a great show