Thursday, June 25, 2015
Tribute: Patrick Macnee (1922 - 2015)
I have been writing far too many posts like this lately.
The press is now reporting that the great and dignified Patrick Macnee has passed away at the age of 93.
For generations, Mr. Macnee has been a staple of science fiction and television. He is most well-known for playing John Steed in The Avengers (1961 - 1969) and The New Avengers (1976-1977).
Mr Macnee's performances in that role have made him an icon in the genre. He cut a dashing figure, and helped to launch the spy/secret agent craze of the sixties.
But, that one role doesn't tell the whole story of Macnee's career, either.
Mr. Macnee had significant guest-starring roles on series such as The Twilight Zone ("Judgment Night,") One Step Beyond ("Night of April 14") and Rod Serling's Night Gallery ("Logoda's Heads").
Sci-fans also love him for his vocal performances on Battlestar Galactica as the Cylon's Imperious Leader, and for his turn as the devilish Count Iblis in the two-parter "War of the Gods."
In the 1990s, Macnee appeared on the pilot of Glen A. Larson's superhero series Nightman (1997 - 1999).
Macnee was always a welcome presence in horror films as well, appearing in such classics as Joe Dante's The Howling (1981) and 1988's pastiche, Waxworks.
In 1985, Macnee followed fellow Avengers stars Diana Rigg and Honor Blackman by appearing in a James Bond film. He co-starred with Roger Moore in A View to a Kill (1985). And in This is Spinal Tap (1984), he was Sir Eton Hogg, head of Polymer Recrods.
The thought of losing Patrick Macnee the same one week duration, essentially, as Christopher Lee and James Horner is too much to bear. I have always admired Macnee's performances because he could play refined and urbane...or absolutely diabolical.
Now those performances -- the yin and yang of Patrick Macnee -- will exist for future generations to discover and admire, making the actor as immortal as John Steed is.