Patrick Macnee RIP
We were very saddened to hear of the death of the actor Patrick Macnee, star of the classic television “The Avengers” at the grand age of 93.
This quintessential English-born actor almost defined the word ‘gentleman’, in his role of John Steed in that ground-breaking series, so much a part of life to anyone who grew up in the 1960s. “The Avengers” started as a fairly traditional spy and crime programme, but then broke its own boundaries as it transformed into a series that mixed fantasy and reality with great aplomb.
It featured most of the great actors of the period, and gave us an unforgettable line-up of co-stars including originally Ian Hendry, who was actually the lead in early episodes, Honor Blackman as Cathy Gale, Diana Rigg as Emma Peel and Linda Thorson as Tara King.
But Patrick Macnee’s John Steed was never eclipsed by any of these talents. His Steed was probably the coolest character in the history of British television. A man who could emerge from a fight without a crease in his immaculately tailored suit, bowler hat still in place and umbrella to hand.
Patrick Macnee played many interesting roles over the course of a long career, including films such as “The Battle of the River Plate”, “The Howling” and “The Sea Wolves”, and was a staple in American TV programmes for many years, appearing as a guest star in a great many series. He played Dr Watson to the Sherlock Holmes of two old friends, Roger Moore and Christopher Lee. He acted in “Hamlet” with Lee when he was a pupil at Eton.
But it is as Steed that he will be remembered. An unforgettable character played by an actor who was every bit as iconic as the role he played.