“In 1998, he joined his wife, Joan, in an effort to get Los Angeles to ban gasoline-powered leaf blowers from residential areas, testifying before the City Council, ‘We’re all victims of these machines.'”
Jeepers, good for Peter Graves.
But sorry to hear that the star of Mission Impossible has died at age 83. The LA Times says Graves was “found dead Sunday afternoon in front of his Pacific Palisades home” and blames “apparent natural causes.” The NY Times (source of the quote above) says Graves died of a heart attack.
His war on leaf blowers actually worked, according to a 1997 report in the Christian Science Monitor:
In Los Angeles, gas-powered blowers will be banned within 500 feet of residential properties, effective Jan. 1. Leadership was provided by actors Peter Graves and Meredith Baxter. “Leaf blowers are bad,” said Mr. Graves. “They call them leaf blowers because, indeed, they do blow leaves around and around and around. But they also blow other things around,” he says, mentioning fungus as an example. “Are we going to put gas masks on our kids?”
And here he is narrating the anti-blower film Fugitive Dust, winner of the 1998 Academy Award for best documentary:
Just kidding about the Oscar.
Graves was never nominated for an Academy Award, though he did win an Emmy (for a 1997 Biography episode about Judy Garland) and a Golden Globe (in 1971, for his grand old spy series Mission Impossible).
Speaking of which, here’s Peter Graves in the iconic opening to Mission Impossible, circa 1967 — after all these years, still a supercool combination of music, visuals and style:
Good luck to you, Mr. Graves, wherever you are!