Patrick Macnee, star of Avengers TV series, dies

Patrick Macnee, star of 'Avengers' TV series, dies

Patrick Macnee, best known for his role as John Steed in the popular 1960s British TV series The Avengers, has died. Macnee’s son, Rupert, confirmed the news to EW. He was 93.

According to a statement on the actor’s official website, Macnee died today of natural causes at his home in Rancho Mirage, Calif. “As an actor, and as a production executive (The Valiant Years), Patrick Macnee was known for his unswerving professionalism, his loyalty, his intuitive creativity, his unaffected courtesy, and his understated humanity,” it read. “His Avengers character, John Steed, was known for his dexterity with an umbrella—he never used a gun. Mr. Macnee became outspoken and, in later years, took every opportunity to express his disapproval of the proliferation of guns in private hands.”

The Avengers, which boasted an all-star cast including Ian Hendry, Diana Rigg, and Honor Blackman, ran from 1960 until 1969, with the series becoming known for its focus on new-fangled technology and feminism. When the series was reprised in 1970 as The New Avengers, Macnee returned to take on the lead role.

In addition to his work on the small screen, the London-born actor appeared in films such as the 1985 James Bond movie A View To Kill and Laurence Olivier’s Hamlet, as well as on Broadway. He also worked on various television shows, both in America and internationally, and produced numerous audio books, in addition to co-writing two memoirs, Blind in One Ear and The Avengers: The Inside Story.

Macnee is survived by his son, Rupert, his daughter, Jenny, and a grandson.

Donations can be made in Macnee’s honor by visiting The Actors Fund website.