Peter Graves, 8th Baron Graves

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Publicity still of Peter Graves Peter Graves, 8th Baron Graves.jpg
Publicity still of Peter Graves

Peter George Wellesley Graves, 8th Baron Graves (21 October 1911 – 6 June 1994) was an English actor.


Born in London, Graves was the son of Henry Algernon Claude Graves, 7th Baron Graves. Admiral Thomas Graves, 1st Baron Graves, was his great-great-great-grandfather. He was educated at Harrow School.


Known during his acting career as Peter Graves, he specialised in light comedies and musicals, often cast as dapper young men about town. His career peaked in the mid-to-late 1940s, beginning with the films of director/writer Val Guest, including Miss London Ltd. (1943) and Bees in Paradise (1944), opposite Arthur Askey; and Give Us the Moon (1944) and I'll Be Your Sweetheart (1945), opposite Margaret Lockwood. Other roles included the lead in Spring Song (1946), and George IV in both The Laughing Lady (1946) and Mrs. Fitzherbert (1947).

He also appeared in a number of films by Herbert Wilcox, such as the popular musicals Spring in Park Lane (1948) and Maytime in Mayfair (1949), both vehicles for Anna Neagle and Michael Wilding. He also portrayed another royal, Prince Albert, in both Wilcox's The Lady with a Lamp (1951) and Lilacs in the Spring (1954). [1]

He re-emerged in the 1960s as a popular comic supporting player in several films, including Alfie , The Wrong Box (both 1966), The Jokers , I'll Never Forget What's'isname (both 1967), and The Magic Christian (1969). [2] He continued acting until a few years before his death, mostly on television. [3]

In 1963 he succeeded his father as eighth Baron Graves. However, as this was an Irish peerage it did not entitle him to a seat in the House of Lords.

He married Winifred Ruby Moule (better known as soprano singer Vanessa Lee, who played many leading roles, especially in several Ivor Novello musical comedies) on 28 May 1960. [4] She died in 1992; their union had been childless. He died on 6 June 1994 in France, of a heart attack. He was succeeded in the barony by his second cousin Evelyn Paget Graves.

Selected filmography


Coat of arms of Peter Graves, 8th Baron Graves
Coronet of a British Baron.svg
Graves Escutcheon.png
A demi-eagle displayed and erased Or encircled round the body and below the wings by a ducal coronet Argent.
Gules an eagle displayed Or ducally crowned Argent. On a canton of the last an anchor Proper.
Two royal vultures wings close Proper.
Auila Non Captat Muscas [5]

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  1. "Peter Graves". BFI.
  2. "Peter Graves | Movies and Filmography". AllMovie.
  3. "Peter Graves".
  4. "Vanessa Lee (Winifred Ruby Moule) - National Portrait Gallery".
  5. Burke's Peerage. 1949.
Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by
Henry Algernon Claude Graves
Baron Graves Succeeded by
Evelyn Paget Graves