Fast Facts

  • In high school, he was captain of the track team and a high hurdler; won the state title in high hurdles his junior year.
  • After high school, he joined the U.S. Army, where he played in the band.
  • While his brother, James Arness, slightly altered the family name (Aurness) for his acting moniker, Peter decided to adopt his maternal grandfather's name, Graves.
  • Made his film debut in 1951's Rogue River.
  • Signature role was Jim Phelps on the TV series Mission: Impossible.


  • 1969, Emmy — Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Series: Nominee
  • 1997, Emmy — Outstanding Informational Series: Winner
  • 1971, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Drama: Winner
  • 1969, Golden Globe — Actor in a Television Series: Nominee
  • 1970, Golden Globe — Actor in a Television Series - Drama: Nominee


  • Amanda Graves — Daughter
  • Joan Endress — Wife
  • Kelly Jean — Daughter
  • Claudia King — Daughter
  • Rolf Aurness — Father
  • James Arness — Brother
  • Ruth Aurness — Mother


  • University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States (BA, 1949)

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  • Birth Name: Peter Aurness
  • Birth Place: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
  • Died: March 14, 2010
  • Profession: Actor

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