Jun 262015

It just seems that the icons of my youth are passing away in droves. We recently had Christopher Lee pass away at the ripe old age of 93, and news came out yesterday that Patrick Macnee had also passed away. An interesting coincidence is that both actors died at the same age and had performed together back in their school days. I can hardly explain the sadness over hearing that Patrick Macnee was no longer with us. I grew up watching The Avengers on CBS Late Night back in the 1970s (and where I fell in love with Diana Rigg) and have watched the series many times since then.

Patrick Macnee
To say that I loved The Avengers is a massive understatement. The show mixed together James Bond-style spy action with a healthy dose of wit, charm, and humor. Patrick Macnee was incredible as John Steed, the perfect embodiment of the English gentleman. (Sadly, the template of the English gentleman has pretty much disappeared in these modern times.) John Steed was unflappable, always ready with a handy quip as he battled the bad guy. His bowler hat, with the metal plate in it, and his umbrella, that contained a sword, were all that the needed to dispatch his foes. I love the episode where the villains were a group of men that were dedicated to being the perfect English gentleman, albeit that they were a force of evil. As Steed fought them, they could not help but admire his dash and style.

Whenever he popped up, whether it was in film or on tv, it was always a bonus to see or hear him. His narration of the original Battlestar Galactica gives me goose bumps, and his role in A View to a Kill was tremendous. I was genuinely sad when seeing the movie in the theater when his character was killed. Sadly, even his presence was not enough to make the movie version of The Avengers any good.

Still, Patrick Macnee had a long and rich life, which is something that we all can aspire to. I think I’ll celebrate his life by watching a few episodes of The Avengers while sipping some champagne.

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