Following the death of “Mission: Impossible” and “Airplane!” star Peter Graves on Sunday, friends and colleagues have spoken out to pay tribute to the fallen actor.
Martin Landau, who starred for years with Graves in the “Mission: Impossible” TV series , said in a statement: “Peter was one of the nicest people on the planet. Working with him for those years on ‘Mission: Impossible’ is among the fondest memories of my life. He was not only extremely talented, but also completely unselfish and always prepared. Peter possessed a great sense of humor, but what impressed me most about him was that I never heard him say a bad word about anyone he encountered. I’d like [wife] Joan and the family and to know my deepest love, thoughts and feelings are with them in this hour of bereavement.”
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who pulled a memorable “Airplane!” cameo as the co-pilot to Graves’ Clarence Oveur, said in a statement: “I’m sure the entertainment junkies of the world are saddened by the loss of Peter Graves the star of ‘Mission: Impossible,’ and someone who I worked with in the movie ‘Airplane!’ He was a very pleasant and friendly person away from the camera and although I only worked with him that one time, I felt that I had made a friend. On the big screen he played the villain in one of my favorite films, ‘Stalag 17.’ I will be forever asked to repeat some of the lines we performed in ‘Airplane!’ for the rest of my life and I will always think of Peter when I say ‘We have clearance, Clarence.’ I send my condolences to his family and friends.”
On Twitter, director Kevin Smith referenced another classic “Airplane!” line when he wrote, “Surely you can’t be serious: that multitalented staple of my youth, Peter Graves, has died at 83. Safe flight, Cap’n…”
“Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” director Edgar Wright took to Twitter to write, “R.I.P. Peter Graves; the original Jim Phelps in ‘Mission: Impossible’ and the legendary Captain Oveur in ‘Airplane.’ What a class act.”