Peter Duesler Aurness was born on 18 March 1926, in Minneapolis, Minnesota USA, of English, German and Norwegian descent. Peter was an actor, best known for being part of the CBS television series “Mission: Impossible” as Jim Phelps from 1967 to 1973, and then also part of the show’s revival from 1988 to 1990. All of his efforts have helped put his net worth to where was prior to his passing.
How rich was Peter Graves? As of early-2017, sources inform us of a net worth that was at $8 million, mostly earned through success in his acting endeavors. He was also part of the comedy film “Airplane!” and subsequently “Airplane II: The Sequel”. All of these achievements ensured the position of his wealth.
Peter Graves Net Worth $8 million
Peter attended Southwest High School, and would matriculate in 1944. Afterwards, he would spend two years as part of the US Army Air Force during World War II, then after returning home, he attended the University of Minnesota.
At the start of his acting career, he used the stage name “Graves” in honor of his mother’s family. He also used it to avoid confusion with his older brother – actor James Arness. One of his first notable roles was in the television series “Fury”, in which he played the rancher and single father, Jim Newton, following his was casting in the World War II film “Stalag 17”. In 1960, he was given the lead role in the series “Whiplash”, which aired until 1961 and featured a total of 34 episodes. In the show, he played Christopher Cobb, an American who goes to Australia in 1850 to establish their first stagecoach line; his character used a bullwhip rather than a gun to fight enemies. After the show, he starred in “Court Marshal” as Army lawyer Major Frank Whittaker. He also made guest appearances in “Alfred Hitchcock Presents”, “Cimarron City”, and “The Invaders” – his popularity continued to increase, and so did his net worth.
In 1967, Graves was recruited by Desilu Studios to replace Steven Hill in “Mission: Impossible” as the character James Phelps, and would be part of the series for six seasons. The show ended in 1973 and he then made a cameo appearance in the film “Sidecar Racers”, and in the soap opera “Class of 74”. In 1983, he was cast in the miniseries “The Winds of War” which became the second-most watched miniseries of all time in that year. He appeared in several serious roles in the next few years, and would then be a part of the revival of “Mission: Impossible” again, the only original series cast member to return as a regular in the show which lasted for two seasons from 1988 to 1990, and he would then star in “Call to Danger”.
In the 1990s, Peter became the host of the show “Biography” on A&E, appeared in “Mystery Science Theater 3000”, and was then cast in “Men in Black II” playing a parody of his “Biography” work. In 1996, he was offered the role of Jim Phelps in the “Mission: Impossible” film, but turned it down, as his character was turned into a villain and it disappointed a lot of fans of the original series. He also became the narrator of the game “Darkstar: The Interactive Movie” which would be his last project.
Peter won several awards over the course of his career. These include a Golden Globe Award for his role in “Mission: Impossible”. He also won a Primetime Emmy Award for his work in “Biography”. In 2009, he was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
For his personal life, it is known that Graves was a Christian, and was married to Joan Endress from 1950 until his passing in 2010 following a heart attack; they had three daughters.
While a member of the track team, he won the State High Hurdles Championship in his junior year of high school.
Brother James Arness moved to Los Angeles, California before World War II; Graves moved there after the war, when he was discharged from the military.
When he was 12 he discovered the music of Benny Goodman, a jazz clarinetist. It made a lasting impression and led him to join the band in junior high.
His mother cultivated a love for the arts in both he and older (by three years) brother James Arness.
Acting ran in his family.
Met Joan Graves while in college. She would be his wife for nearly 60 years, until Graves' own passing in 2010.
During World War II he and his brother James Arness joined the US Army. Arness was an infantryman and was wounded in the battle of Anzio, Italy, while Graves was posted to the Army Air Force (which later became a separate branch of the US military).
An athletic enthusiast.
In 1941, when he was 15, he become one of the youngest members of the musician's union.
His father, Rolf Aurness, sold surgical instruments, and his mother, Ruth Duesler Graves, was a housewife.
Before he was a successful actor, he worked in a variety of jobs, such as cab driver.
Before he was a successful actor, he was in a post-band in Denver.
Began his career as a contract player for Eagle-Lion Pictures in 1950.
He said it was almost over for Capt. Clarence Oveur before the movie Airplane! (1980) took flight. Graves said he was astounded when his agent sent him the script for the 1980 spoof, and after reading it he felt that it was "the worst piece of junk" he had ever seen. However, he changed his mind after meeting with the movie's writers, Jerry Zucker and David Zucker.