Patrick Macnee, famous for his role on “The Avengers” British TV series, died Thursday of natural causes at his home in Rancho Mirage, Calif. He was 93.
Macnee, who played John Steed in the spy-fi show, died with his family at his bedside.
“Wherever he went, he left behind a trove of memories,” a statement on the actor’s website read. “Patrick Macnee was a popular figure in the television industry. He was at home wherever in the world he found himself. He had a knack for making friends, and keeping them.”
“The Avengers” initially focused on Dr. David Keel (Ian Hendry) and his assistant (Macnee), but Macnee’s famously bowler hat wearing, umbrella-wielding intelligence officer (he never used a gun) became the protagonist when Hendry exited the series. Macnee played the part alongside a succession of strong, female partners, including Honor Blackman, Diana Rigg and Joanna Lumley. The show ran from 1961 and 1969 and was reprised in the 1970s.
The series was unsuccessfully adapted for the bigscreen in 1998 in a film that starred Ralph Fiennes as John Steed and Uma Thurman as his female partner and Sean Connery as the villain they faced.
The original “Avengers” TV series is still broadcast all over the world.
Macnee also made guest appearances on “Columbo,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “The Love Boat” and “Frasier.”
On the film side, he appeared in Laurence Olivier’s “Hamlet,” the 1951 version of “A Christmas Carol,” “This Is Spinal Tap,” and the 1985 James Bond film “A View to a Kill.”
Macnee is survived by a son and a daughter as well as a grandson.
Donations may be made to the Actors Fund.