first_imgIt 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 [email protected], 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. last_img read more

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