Peter Aurness (March 18, 1926 – March 14, 2010), known professionally as Peter Graves, was an American film and television actor. He was best known for his starring role in the CBS television series Mission: Impossible from 1967 to 1973. His brother was actor James Arness (1923-2011).
Graves was born Peter Aurness in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a son of Methodist parents Rolf Cirkler Aurness (1894–1982), a businessman, and his wife Ruth (née Duesler, died 1986), a journalist. Graves' ancestry was Norwegian, English and German. The family name originally was "Aursnes," but when Rolf's Norwegian father, Peter Aursnes, immigrated to New York City in 1887, he changed the spelling.
Graves graduated from Southwest High School in 1944, and spent two years in the United States Army Air Force near the end of World War II. He then enrolled at the University of Minnesota on the G.I. Bill, and was a member of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity.