British actor Patrick MacNee has died. His official website reports that he passed away of natural causes at his home in Rancho Mirage, California with his family at his bedside. He was 93.
The TV stalwart racked up over 150 screen credits during his career, yet MacNee is most well-known for his role in the 1960s spy series The Avengers. From 1961 to 1969 he played the part of bowler hat-wearing secret agent John Steed. His iconic character was noted for disposing of villains with his umbrella, a quirk worked into the show at MacNee’s insistence. He later reprised the part alongside his original co-stars Joanna Lumley and Gareth Hunt for The New Avengers, which aired from 1976-1977.
In his early years MacNee tackled a variety of roles in the theater, treading the boards at the tender age of 11 alongside the late Christopher Lee in Henry V. He went on to serve in the Royal Navy during World War II before concentrating his efforts on cracking America, where he spent most of his adult life.
Outside of The Avengers, MacNee appeared in several cult classics including The Howling, as its main lycanthrope Dr. George Waggner, and This Is Spinal Tap as record company executive Sir Denis Eton-Hogg.
Roger Moore, whom he starred with in A View To A Kill, shared his reaction to MacNee’s passing: “So very sad to hear Pat Macnee has left us. We were mates from 1950s and I have so many happy memories of working with him. A true gent.”
Our thoughts go out to his family and friends at this time.
Patrick MacNee 1922-2015