Peter Graves

Description   [from Freebase]

Peter Aurness (March 18, 1926 – March 14, 2010), known professionally as Peter Graves, was an American film and television actor. He was best known for his starring role in the CBS television series Mission: Impossible from 1967 to 1973 (original) and from 1988 to 1990 (revival). His elder brother was actor James Arness (1923–2011). Graves was born Peter Aurness in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a son of Methodist parents Rolf Cirkler Aurness (1894–1982), a businessman, and his wife Ruth (née Duesler, died 1986), a journalist. Graves' ancestry was Norwegian, English and German. The family name originally was "Aursnes," but when Rolf's Norwegian father, Peter Aursnes, immigrated to New York City in 1887, he changed the spelling. Peter used the stage name "Graves", a maternal family name. He used the name Graves to honor his mother's family, and also so as to not be confused with his older brother, James Arness, who was a famous actor in his own right, as the star of the television series "Gunsmoke". Graves graduated from Southwest High School in 1944, and spent two years in the United States Army Air Force near the end of World War II.

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