Heart Attack Claims the Life of Peter Graves at Age 83


Film and television star Peter Graves died Sunday of a heart attack outside his home in Pacific Palisades, California, his business manager, Fred Barman, confirmed to the New York Times. He was 83. According to his publicist, Sandy Brokaw, Graves collapsed upon returning from brunch with his wife and children of an apparent heart attack.

Graves had a career that spanned 60 years. He was best known for his Golden Globe-winning portrayal James Phelps on Mission: Impossible which ran for seven seasons on CBS. He played the bumbling pilot in Airplane and in the mid-90s, Graves became the host of A&E's Biography, and received an Emmy for the 1997 special Judy Garland: Beyond the Rainbow.

Graves family members say it was a heart attack. In the United States, heart attacks are the leading killer of both men and women. , A heart attack occurs when blood flow to a section of heart muscle becomes blocked. If the flow of blood isn’t restored quickly, the section of heart muscle becomes damaged from lack of oxygen and begins to die.


The most common symptoms of heart attacks include chest discomfort or pain like pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain in the center of the chest that can be mild or strong. This uneasiness or pain lasts more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back. The upper body can have discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach. Shortness of breath may occur with or before chest discomfort. Other signs include nausea (feeling sick to your stomach), vomiting, lightheadedness or fainting, or breaking out in a cold sweat.

Graves had just returned from brunch with his wife and kids and collapsed before he made it into the house, Brokaw said. One of his daughters administered CPR but was unable to revive him. Graves' family doctor visited the house and believed he had a heart attack, Brokaw said.

People who have heart attacks might have a family history of heart conditions or they could have medical conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes. While heredity is beyond a patient's control, all other risk factors can be addressed to minimize the risk of developing coronary artery disease or decreasing its progression if already present.

Heart attacks in some can be prevented by following a low-fat diet rich in fruits and vegetables, pay careful attention to the amounts and types of fat in your diet, reduce weight if you are overweight, quit smoking and become physical.

"He had this statesmanlike quality," Brokaw said. "People were always encouraging him to run for office. But he said, he like acting too much.” Graves was married for 50 years and had three daughters and six grandchildren.