Avengers actor Patrick Macnee dies

Died of natural causes at his home in California


Avenger Actor Patrick Macnee Dies

Actor Patrick Macnee, who was best known for playing agent John Steed in the 1960s TV series The Avengers, has died at the age of 93.

He died of natural causes at his home in California with his family at his bedside, according to his son, Rupert.

Macnee, who starred in the classic spy programme alongside Ian Hendry, Honor Blackman, Diana Rigg and Joanna Lumley, had lived in the US for the last 40 years.

A statement paying tribute to him on his website said: "Patrick Macnee was a popular figure in the television industry. He was at home wherever in the world he found himself.

"He had a knack for making friends, and keeping them. Wherever he went, he left behind a trove of memories and good wishes."

The son of a racehorse trainer, Macnee grew up in Berkshire and was educated at Summerfields Preparatory School, where at the age of 11 he acted in Henry V opposite a young Sir Christopher Lee.

He then went on to Eton College before training at London's Webber-Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art.

After serving in the Royal Navy in the Second World War he turned his hand to acting, working at the Windsor Repertory Theatre and in some minor film roles before moving to Canada and the United States.

Macnee found fame in the original Avengers series, playing the dapper British intelligence agent Steed throughout the original series from 1961 to 1969.

He reprised his role for the New Avengers in 1976-77, and appeared as the voice of Invisible Jones in the 1998 The Avengers film, starring Ralph Fiennes and Uma Thurman.

After The Avengers, Macnee starred on Broadway in Anthony Shaffer's Sleuth, touring internationally with that play and several other productions

He also appeared in the James Bond film A View To A Kill with Sir Roger Moore and guest-starred in dozens of British, American and Australian TV productions.

Macnee was married three times, including to actress Katherine Woodville, with whom he acted in The Avengers, and had two children, a son and a daughter, as well as one grandson.