About this Famous Person
American film and television actor
Source : Tim DOWLING
Graves was born Peter Duesler 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 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. Peter used the stage name "Graves", a maternal family name. He used the name Graves to honor his mother's family, and also so as to not be confused with his older brother, James Arness, who was the star of the television series Gunsmoke.
Graves graduated from Southwest High School in 1944, and spent two years in the United States Army Air Forces 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.