It spawned a series revival and three blockbuster movies, but it’s hard to re-create the suspense and wonder of the classic “Mission: Impossible,” which aired on CBS from 1966 to 1973. To the iconic theme music composed by Lalo Schifrin, members of the clandestine Impossible Missions Force used their wits, cagey disguises and what were then high-tech gadgets to unseat Cold War dictators and dispatch Third World despots. Reruns of the adventure-espionage show now air in the Los Angeles market on KDOC-TV. After recently catching an episode from the show’s heyday, we wondered where the stars are now: Peter Graves, now 81, portrayed unflappable team leader Jim Phelps for most of the original series, as well as the “M:I” revival from 1988 to ’90. Starring with Landau was his real-life wife, Barbara Bain. Her portrayal of Cinnamon Carter, a frosty blonde with an exquisite wardrobe, won her consecutive Emmys for Best Actress for the three years she was on the show. Born in Chicago as Millicent Fogel, Bain was a dancer and model before a stint with the Actors Studio persuaded her to pursue acting. Since she and Landau left the show (they later divorced), she’s appeared sporadically on TV. Now 76, she’s filming “Darkness Visible,” which also stars daughter Juliet Landau. Greg Morris, as electronics expert Barney Collier, and Peter Lupus, who played strongman Willy Armitrage, were the only two actors on “M:I” all seven seasons. Morris starred in “Vega$” from 1978 to ’80, then was seriously hurt in an auto accident in 1981. He appeared in the “M:I” revival, and died of cancer in 1996 at age 62. Lupus – who won bodybuilding titles and posed nude in Playgirl in 1974 – now runs a nutrition company. At age 75, he’s also an advocate for physical fitness for individuals over 50. Although you never saw his face or read his name in the credits, Bob Johnson also was on every episode of “Mission: Impossible.” The voice actor gave the IMF its recorded briefings and advised, “This tape will self-destruct in 5 seconds.” He died in 1994. While these were the primary actors during the “M:I” run, a handful of others filled out the roster: Steven Hill played team leader Dan Briggs in the first season. He’s familiar to fans of the “Law & Order” franchise as District Attorney Adam Schiff. In replacing Landau, Nimoy played a magician known as The Great Paris. But he’ll always be known to viewers as Mr. Spock, signing recently to reprise the character for a “Star Trek” movie, set for release in December 2008. Lesley Ann Warren replaced Bain for just one season, playing femme fatale Dana Lambert. Her more recent appearances were as Susan’s mother, Sophie, on TV’s “Desperate Housewives.” Lee Merriwether, who launched an acting career after being crowned Miss America in 1954, portrayed Tracey, one of the actresses rotated into the cast after Bain’s departure. She continues to act in movies and TV, including a recurring role in “All My Children.” Lynda Day George portrayed Lisa Casey for most of the last two seasons. She was married to actor Christopher George, and gave up acting after his death in 1983. Today, she is remarried and living in the Los Angeles area. Barbara Anderson, who’d won an Emmy for her role as Eve Whitfield in “Ironside,” portrayed Mimi Davis while George was on maternity leave. She continued her acting career into the ’90s. Do you wonder about the fate of a favorite performer? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll try to answer your question in an upcoming edition.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre Born Peter Aurness – his brother is “Gunsmoke’s” James Arness – the oh-so-handsome Graves acted for nearly two decades in films and TV, including the Saturday morning kids’ show “Fury,” before his breakout role that won him a Golden Globe. He’s worked steadily since then in dozens of movies and TV series, and had a recurring role in “7th Heaven,” which just ended its final season. One of everyone’s favorite scenes in “M:I” was when Martin Landau, as master of disguise Rollin Hand, peeled off the rubber mask that had masqueraded his character as a villain. A graduate of the renowned Actors Studio, Landau appeared on Broadway and in films and TV anthologies. The year he started “M:I,” he’d been considered for the role of Mr. Spock on “Star Trek” – a part that went to Leonard Nimoy, who replaced Landau in “M:I” after he quit in 1969 over a salary dispute. Landau taught acting and had an occasional part until his Oscar-nominated role in “Tucker: The Man and His Dream” in 1988 revived his career. A string of movies followed, and he won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for “Ed Wood” in 1994. He’s worked steadily since, including recurring roles in “The Evidence” on ABC and “Entourage” on HBO. Now 76, he is working on four movies set for release in 2008.
Dear John K. and all the other comedy wannabes: Stop it! Stop it right now! In real life, Robin Williams doesn t run for office, so why do you persist in trying out for Comedy Central on the campaign trail? Didn t you learn anything from President Bush s reference to the possibility of a Democratic Congress by contorting a joke about Nancy Pelosi measuring the drapes and dancing in the end zone ? Do I need tell you how the press corps (most of which were sober) responded to his joke?My point is, if you re a politician, … politic. Don t audition for a weekend spot at The Laugh Factory. Leave the jokes to the comics. And if you re a comic, tell jokes. Don t do movies like Man of the Year. Leave them to actors … like Ronald Reagan.Best California costumes of Halloween 06: Arnold dressed up as a Democrat. Angelides dressed up as a competitive candidate.How many do they need? Twelve people were charged in Orange County with fraudulently registering Democrats and independents as Republicans. Hey, guys, don t waste your time. It s the OC. You have a higher percentage of Republicans than the Bush Cabinet. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’My Annual Propositions Guide: 1. If the proposition s TV ad spot says it s for something, it s a pretty good bet it s against it.2. If a sponsor of a proposition is an oil company, even if it calls the proposition, We Are Against Big Oil Because They Are Nazi Profiteers, the proposition is pro-oil.3. People who are wondering what happened to Propositions 2 through 82 need only check behind the dryer under the single socks.But he could still vote in Chicago: While many believe the very alive and well 73-year-old Richard Robinson of Palmdale was declared legally dead years ago due to an attempt to rob him of his rightful part of a family estate, Robinson admits the reason was more political. It was the only way I figured I could stop getting those recorded phone calls from Barbara Boxer and President Bush during dinner. Hey, bartender, another shot of health, please: A study by Harvard Medical School and the National Institute on Aging shows that heavy doses of a red-wine ingredient lowers the rate of diabetes, liver problems and other fat-related ill effects in obese mice. A representative for the rotund mice announced relief. After KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken, before their marketing guy figured that if they didn t actually spell out the word fried, no one would know that s what the chicken is) took that great-tasting fat out of their chicken last week, most of us needed a drink, said Mickey Mass. Now if they could figure how to make the cheese lactose-tolerant. All they need is love … from someone else: The contentious divorce proceeding between Heather Mills and Paul McCartney reached critical mass as Heather blamed Paul s turning 64 for the separation. He didn t lose his hair, like he said he would, said Mills. I couldn t believe anything he sang after that. Through his attorney, Paul laid blame for the divorce on Yoko Ono. We pretty much blame her for everything, said the lawyer, Bill A. Bundle.That s why this lady is a scamp: Devil-may-care pundit and author Ann Coulter is refusing to cooperate in an investigation into voting fraud, and prosecutors in Palm Beach County, Fla., are threatening to file charges. Coulter s publisher simultaneously announced that they will soon be releasing Anne s newest book, Godless Liberal Prosecutors in Florida Are Killing American Conservative Babies. It s a children s book.Jersey girls … and girls: New Jersey s highest court ruled that same-sex couples in New Jersey must be given all the benefits and rights enjoyed by married men and women. New Jersey divorce lawyers have yet to stop partying.Come on down no more: Longtime game-show host Bob Barker has decided to retire after only a little over 50 years in the business. It s not so much that I m tired of working, said The Price is Right emcee. It was just getting harder and harder to keep the third bidder from beating the hell out of the last guy for bidding one dollar more than the third. Next Sunday: My sure-fire predictions for which candidates will win the midterms.Steve Young is author of Great Failures of the Extremely Successful (www.greatfailure.com).160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!