R.I.P. Peter Graves
Travel Blog • Michael Yessis • 03.15.10 | 3:36 PM ET
The prolific actor who played Captain Oveur in “Airplane!” died of a heart attack Sunday. He was 83. Graves almost turned down the role in one of the greatest travel movies of all time. From the New York Times obituary:
But he was appalled when his agent sent him the script for the role of a pedophile pilot in “Airplane!” (1980). “I tore my hair and ranted and raved and said, ‘This is insane,’ he recalled on “Biography” in 1997. Some of the role’s lines (“Have you ever been in a Turkish prison?”) looked at first as if they could get him thrown in jail, never mind ruining his career. He told his agent to tell David and Jerry Zucker and Jim Abrahams, the director-producers, to find themselves a comedian. He relented when the Zucker brothers explained that the secret of their spoof would be the deadpan behavior of the cast; they didn’t want a comedian, they wanted the Peter Graves of “Fury” and “Mission: Impossible.”
Those lines are now movie classics. Entertainment Weekly honors Graves today with Peter Graves-y things to say today.
I’ll let his work speak for itself: