Patrick Macnee reprised his John Steed role for The New Avengers TV series, starring alongside Joanna Lumley and Gareth Hunt
Actor Patrick Macnee, star of The Avengers TV series, has died in California at the age of 93.
The Briton, best known for playing John Steed in the 1960s television series, died at home with his family at his bedside, his son Rupert said.
Macnee also played roles in theatre, appearing on Broadway, and served in the Royal Navy during World War Two.
A statement on the actor’s website read: “Wherever he went, he left behind a trove of memories.”
“Patrick Macnee was a popular figure in the television industry”, the statement said. “He was at home wherever in the world he found himself. He had a knack for making friends, and keeping them.”
James Bond ally
Born in London and educated at Eton, Macnee first appeared in the West End while still in his teens.
He played a number of minor roles – including one in Laurence Olivier’s 1948 film version of Hamlet – before rising to fame in the original Avengers series between 1961 and 1969.
He returned when that series was reprised as The New Avengers in the 1970s, appearing alongside Joanna Lumley’s Purdey and Gareth Hunt’s Mike Gambit.
He also appeared in the 1985 James Bond film A View to Kill, playing an ally of Roger Moore’s Bond character.
‘Ahead of their time’
In a 2014 interview with The Lady magazine, Macnee said he believed The Avengers was a success because it “did something different and did it better.”
He told the magazine: “It was beautifully written, the ideas were very good, way ahead of their time and they incorporated fantasies for people who dreamed of doing exciting things.”
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FOR THOSE AGING AFFICIONADOS OF “THE AVENGERS”‘ THE TELEGRAPH PUBLISHED A FINE APPRECIATION OF PATRICK MACNEE’S CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT ON MR. STEED, WHICH YOU MAY FIND AT THE FOLLOWING LINK
Very sad news… I was a huge fan of “The Avengers” especially the entire Emma Peel series which I now own and cherish on DVD.
As someone once said, James Bond was famous for his line: “Shaken not stirred” but I liked “Steeds” even better. Ever the cultured gentleman, he commented on a particularly fine wine with the words: “… every grape, individually crushed!” as only he could.
My dad never missed an episode of the Avengers. I suppose thats why I have many of the earliest on DVD. I’ll never forget the first time it dawned on me that He was one of the buisnessmen in Dickens Chistmas Carol with Alistair Sim.