Thursday June 25, 2015

'Avengers' actor Patrick Macnee dies at 93

Portrait of actor Patrick Macnee, standing in a field, wearing a bowler hat and suit, March 5,1969.

Portrait of actor Patrick Macnee, standing in a field, wearing a bowler hat and suit, March 5,1969. (Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

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Patrick Macnee is best known for his role as the suave secret agent John Steed in the classic 1960s TV series The Avengers. And that was okay with him.

The British actor passed away today of natural causes at his home in California at the age of 93. As It Happens spoke with him back in October 1977.

"I almost never wish that I was not known for John Steed, 'cause otherwise I certainly wouldn't be talking to you," Macnee told former As It Happens host Barbara Frum in 1977. "I wouldn't be travelling the world, I wouldn't have had the fun I've had."

But when Macnee wasn't donning Steed's trademark bowler hat, he was a prolific film, stage and television actor. His resume includes nearly 200 credits, including roles in This Is Spinal Tap (as Sir Denis Eton-Hogg, the head of Polymer Records), Murder, She Wrote, and Canadian productions such as The Littlest Hobo.

Macnee also starred in several early CBC television productions in the 1950s.

Lorne Greene

In 1953, Patrick Macnee (right) played a main role in a one-hour adaptation of Shakespeare's Othello, alongside actors Christopher Plummer and Lorne Greene. (Page Toles/CBC Still Photo Collection)

"The Child Wife" production still

Patrick Macnee (with Glenyss McDiarmid) in the 1957 CBC production "The Child Wife" (CBC/Alvin Armstrong)

Macnee's family announced his death on the actor's website, part of which read: "Wherever he went, he left behind a trove of memories."

If you'd like to tip your hat to Patrick Macnee, please share some of your memories of the actor in the comments section below.