Category Archives: Obituaries

Mission: Accomplished

Peter Graves, best known as Jim Phelps in the long running Mission: Impossible TV series, died on Sunday of a heart attack at the age of 83.

And no, he had never seen a grown man naked.

Probably best known to younger (?) viewers as Captain Clarence Oveur from the Airplane! films, Graves had a long history in the movies, including at least two ’50s sci-fi flicks that were ‘riffed’ by the robots on Mystery Science Theater 3000.

Beginning of the End (1957):

Part 1 of It Conquered the World (1956),  perhaps best remembered now for the immortal “Man is a feeling creature…” speech:

Fun Peter Graves Facts:

  • His older brother was James Arness, aka Marshall Matt Dillon from Gunsmoke.
  • Jim Phelps was not the first leader of the Impossible Missions Force – the IMF was led at first by Dan Briggs, played by Steven Hill, who later went on to play District Attorney Adam Schiff on Law and Order from 1990-2000. Graves took over as leader of the IMF at the beginning of Season 2.

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Filed under Movie Megacheese, Obituaries, Sci-Fi, Spy Games, Television, Videos, YouTube

The End of the Cartwright Clan

Pernell Roberts, who played eldest son Adam Cartwright on Bonanza, died Sunday of pancreatic cancer. He was predeceased by his television brothers, Hoss (Dan Blocker), Little Joe (Michael Landon) and Pa Cartwight (Lorne Greene).

Although not a fan of westerns in general, and having missed watching his other major starring role, Trapper John, M.D., I was still always impressed at the seriousness and believability of his characters. In fact, I was watching an episode of Mission: Impossible on the weekend, and there he was, guest-starring as a greedy mercenary in Africa. Good stuff, as always.

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Filed under 1960s, Obituaries, Television, The Wild West

Take Your Both Feet Out…

Robert Degen, one of the writers of the Hokey Pokey, has died at the age of 104.

I have to wonder if he ever asked himself, “Is this what it’s all about?”

Image thanks to the online store of my favorite magazine, Mental Floss.


Filed under Music, Obituaries

R.I.P. Dave Arneson

It is with sadness that this blog notes the passing of Dave Arneson – a co-creator of Dungeons and Dragons, Dave was overshadowed by Gary Gygax, nonetheless his contribution to D&D, and indeed to Roleplaying everywhere, was second to none.

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Filed under Books, Obituaries

The Voice of “Figure Eight”

Blossom Dearie, well-known and much-loved jazz singer from New York, has passed away at the age of 82. Why do I make note of this here? Well, I’m glad you asked…

The haunting, childlike voice from this classic 1973 Schoolhouse Rock vignette? That’s right: Blossom Dearie, who at the time was 46 years old. That somehow adds an element of poignancy to me. To have that voice to sing with… It’s no wonder she was popular on the jazz scene for many years. It makes her songs from Schoolhouse Rock that much more memorable, in my opinion.

The only other SHR with Blossom Dearie’s voice was Unpack Your Adjectives:

This was from 1975, when she would have been 48 years old.

Sometimes the losses you don’t hear much about are significant, from an inner-child point of view.

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Filed under 1970s, Obituaries, Television