Well, June has not been a good month for my childhood heroes. First, we lost the last great horror actor, Christopher Lee, and now time has done what no number of outlandish Avengers enemies could – taken John Steed away. Both actors lived to a wonderful age of 93 but no amount of time is enough.
Patrick Macnee had 167 roles on imdb and while many of them were memorable, he will always be remembered as John Steed in The Avengers. Not just that but while he had many partners, he will always be linked with Diana Rigg’s Emma Peel.
The Avengers ran from 1961 to 1969 and starred Ian Hendry with Patrick Macnee’s John Steed as the sidekick. It really hit its stride when Ian Hendry left to become a movie star (rookie mistake, right David Caruso?) and Steed became the central character with several very capable female partners. First, Honor Blackman (Pussy Galore from Goldfinger) as Catherine Gale, then Diana Rigg as Emma Peel, and finally Linda Thorson as Tara King.
John Steed and Patrick Macnee were brought back in 1976-77 for The New Avengers. Here John Steed leads a team consisting of Joanna Lumley as Purdey and Gareth Hunt as Gambit. It tries but doesn’t have the wonderful sense of style that the original did. Macnee also has a voiceover in the dreadful The Avengers movie with Ralph Fiennes as John Steed.
Sadly, Netflix doesn’t even recognize Macnee in their actor database so go buy Season 5 of The Avengers on Amazon. It is easily the best of the series and features all of the color episodes featuring Diana Rigg.
Rest in peace, Patrick Macnee, you will be missed.