Patrick Macnee, who starred as the dapper British secret agent John Steed in the 1960s spy-fi series "The Avengers," died today of natural causes. He was 93.
Born in London in 1922, Macnee began acting at an early age, appearing in a school production of "Henry V" opposite a young Christopher Lee. Following minor roles in such films as "Hamlet" and "Scrooge" and in American and Canadian television and theatrical productions, he landed the part that would make him famous.
Airing from 1961 to 1969, "The Avengers" became a television phenomenon, airing around the world. Although the bowler-wearing Steed initially was the assistant to Dr. David Keel (Ian Hendry), by the second season Macnee was star, paired with a succession of co-stars: Honor Blackman as Cathy Gale, Diana Rigg as Emma Peel (his most famous assistant), and Linda Thorson as Tara King.
Macnee reprised his role as Steed for the 1976 revival "The New Avengers," starring alongside Joanna Lumley's Purdey and Gareth Hunt's Mike Gambit. He also provided the voice of Invisible Jones in the widely panned 1998 film.
His later credits include "Battlestar Galactica," "A View to a Kill," "This Is Spinal Tap," "Magnum, P.I." and "Around the World in 80 Days."
"He was at home wherever in the world he found himself," reads a statement on Macnee's website. "He had a knack for making friends, and keeping them. Wherever he went, he left behind a trove of memories and good wishes."