When news broke that veteran actor Peter Graves died this past Sunday, fans of his long and storied career began to recall his many accomplishments.

Television fans will remember him best as the iconic Jim Phelps on the classic spy series 'Mission: Impossible.'

But on the movies side, perhaps his most enduring contribution is the part of Captain Clarence Oveur in the 1980 comedy classic 'Airplane!' Written and directed by Jim Abrahams and Jerry and David Zucker, the disaster-film parody about a flight crew that suffers food poisoning mid-flight achieved one of the biggest joke-to-minute ratios ever captured on film. Much of the film's success came from respected character actors like Graves, Lloyd Bridges and Leslie Nielsen and their ability to deliver the most absurd lines with the most deadpan delivery. The film even achieved the unthinkable of getting a great performance out of an athlete: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who played Oveur's co-pilot.

For Graves in particular, it took immeasurable skill to get laughs out of his too-questionable relationship with young Joey.

Relive one of the most quotable comedies ever, with our collection of the best quotes from the film:
Airplane! Movie Poster
Based on 18 critics

This spoof comedy takes shots at the slew of disaster movies that were released in the 70s. When the... Read More