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Peter Graves Is 'Mr. Phelps' To Me, But He Flew High In 'Airplane!' Too

Mr. Phelps always accepted his impossible missions. (AP Photo/File) hide caption

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(AP Photo/File)

Mr. Phelps always accepted his impossible missions.

(AP Photo/File)

I know where I come down on this.

For me, actor Peter Graves is best remembered for his role as Jim Phelps, leader of the Mission Impossible team in the '60s and '70s.

The MI team was just so cool — Barney, who in retrospect took forever to set up those complicated surveillance devices, but always came through; Cinnamon, the sexy seducer; Rollin, the master of disguise; Willy, the not-very-talkative muscle; and Jim, the cooly efficient mastermind.

Even today, the reruns hold up fairly well.

But I suppose there are some, probably younger, folks who will say Graves' best work was in Airplane! and Airplane II, The Sequel.

With Graves' death Sunday, just four days away from his 84th birthday, I wonder: