'The Avengers' TV series star Patrick Macnee dies at 93

Jun 26, 2015, 14:17 IST | PTI

Actor Patrick Macnee, star of "The Avengers" TV series, has died in California at the age of 93

Los Angeles: 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 spy series, died at home with his family at
his bedside, his son Rupert said, reported Variety. 

Macnee, who served in the Royal Navy during World War Two, also played roles in theatre, appearing on Broadway. A statement on the actor's website read: "Wherever he went, he left behind a trove of memories." He died peacefully at his home in California's Rancho Mirage on Thursday, Rupert said.

Born in London, Macnee grew up in Berkshire and was educated at Summerfields Preparatory School and Eton. At the age of 11, he acted in "Henry V" opposite a young Christopher Lee. He 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.

The series developed a cult following around the world,. Steed was known for his dress sense, always donning a bowler hat and carrying an umbrella, which was used as a secret weapon.

Macnee 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. Later, he starred on Broadway in Anthony Shaffer's "Sleuth", touring internationally with that play and several other productions. He also appeared in the 1985 James Bond film "A View to a Kill", playing an ally of Roger Moore's Bond character, and made a cameo appearance as the head of a record company in "This is Spinal Tap".

Macnee featured too as a guest star in dozens of British, American and Australian TV productions. Macnee had two children, son Rupert and daughter Jennifer, and one grandson. He was married three times, including to actress
Katherine Woodville, with whom he acted in "The Avengers". He had been a US citizen since 1959.

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