British actor Hunt dies

'New Avengers' star was 65

British actor Gareth Hunt, best known as secret agent Mike Gambit on 1970s spy series “The New Avengers,” died March 14 at his home south of London of pancreatic cancer. He was 65.

The London-born Hunt spent joined the merchant navy at 15 and spent six years at sea before studying acting and later appeared with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

He first gained attention playing footman Frederick Norton in the long-running TV series “Upstairs, Downstairs.”

But he is best remembered for “The New Avengers,” a sequel to 1960s spy series “The Avengers.”

In the sequel, Patrick Macnee reprised his role as John Steed, while Hunt played Gambit and was joined by Joanna Lumley as Purdey, the series’ glamorous martial arts expert. It ran for only 26 episodes.

“We started off as friends in ‘The New Avengers’ and remained that way for more than 30 years,” Lumley said.

“We shared so much laughter — we were constantly in hysterics making ‘The Avengers.’ Gambit and Purdey were quite often sent out to do bits and pieces together so we would have scenes where we were driving or fighting people, and we had such enormous fun,” she said.

In later years, Hunt appeared on British shows including “EastEnders,” “Doctors” and “New Tricks.”

He is survived by his wife, Amanda, and three sons.

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