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Monitor: Remembering Peter Graves (1926-2010)

Plus Kate Winslet, Tiger Woods, and more stars making the news the week of March 19, 2010

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SPLITS
Kate Winslet, 34, and her husband, director Sam Mendes, 44, announced their separation March 15 after seven years of marriage. The couple has a son, Joe, 6. Winslet also has a daughter, Mia, 9, from her first marriage.

ENGAGED
Actor-director David Schwimmer, 43, is engaged to photographer Zoë Buckman, 24. It will be the first marriage for both.

COMEBACK
Four months after being sidelined by a sex scandal, Tiger Woods, 34, has announced he will return to golf at the Masters in April.

EXPECTING
Extra’s Mario Lopez, 36, and his girlfriend, actress Courtney Mazza, 28, will welcome their first child this fall.

DEALS
On March 16, Sony Music announced that it had renewed its agreement with the estate of Michael Jackson for the rights to the late pop star’s catalog of music. The deal is reportedly worth up to $250 million and includes about 10 recordings through 2017. The first release of previously unheard material is set for November.

COURTS
Charlie Sheen, 44, pleaded not guilty to felony menacing and two misdemeanors in Aspen March 15. The charges stem from a Dec. 25 fight with his wife, Brooke Mueller, 32. The trial has been set for July 21.

DEATHS
Charles Moore, 79, who captured iconic images of the civil rights movement, died of natural causes March 11 in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. — With additional reporting by Stewart Allen


BIRTHDAYS
Bruce Willis, 55
March 19

Spike Lee, 53
March 20

Reese Witherspoon, 34
March 22

Keri Russell, 34
March 23

Sarah Jessica Parker, 45
March 25


Remembering Airplane Star Peter Graves (1926-2010)

He came to showbiz in the shadow of his older brother, Gunsmoke lawman James Arness. But Peter Graves — who died March 14 of an apparent heart attack outside his home in Pacific Palisades, Calif. — carved out a place for himself in Hollywood with a career that spanned six decades and multiple genres, from the straight-faced seriousness of CBS’ Mission: Impossible to the goofy heights of Airplane!

Born Peter Aurness in Minneapolis, Graves studied drama and served in the Air Force before coming to Hollywood. There he adopted his grandmother’s name to distance himself from his famous sibling and landed parts in classic films like Stalag 17 (1953) and The Night of the Hunter (1955). In 1967, he found his signature role: secret agent Jim Phelps in the Mission: Impossible TV series. The show was a ratings hit and earned Graves an Emmy nomination for best actor. (He also reprised the character in the late ’80s for an M:I reboot.) Later the actor put his low-voiced gravitas to work, both for laughs — as the deadpan pilot in 1980’s Airplane! — and in earnest, as the Emmy-winning host of A&E’s Biography and the stern grandfather on The WB’s 7th Heaven. ”He was a man’s man, but with a big heart. That’s a rare combination,” says Stephen Collins, who played his son on the family drama. ”He was a joy to work with, and I think that’s what people will remember.”—Adam Markovitz