26 June 2015 - Patrick Macnee dies aged 93
Patrick Macnee obituary
Dennis Barker (The Guardian)
Despite a long and diverse career in the theatre and cinema, Patrick Macnee, who has died aged 93, will be remembered as John Steed, the umbrella-twirling, bowler-hatted hero of the stylish derring-do TV series The Avengers. The programme, written and presented in “swinging” 1960s London, was thrilling and dynamic, and it made a star of Macnee and his sidekicks Honor Blackman (as Cathy Gale) and Diana Rigg (as Emma Peel).
In 1960, the series Police Surgeon, produced by ABC with Ian Hendry as its star, had come to an end. The writer Brian Clemens was asked to devise a show on similar lines, but more light-hearted, and came up with The Avengers, in which Hendry would be a doctor, David Keel, being helped in his search for revenge on the drug-dealer killers of his lover by a shady and enigmatic man, John Steed, from some mysterious intelligence service.
Doug Bolton (The Independent)
Educated at Eton College, he served in the Royal Navy during World War Two, working on torpedo boats in the English Channel and the North Sea.
After the war, he worked as an actor, taking on a number of small roles in film and TV.
He got his big break when he was cast as the lead in the The Avengers, which ran throughout the 1960s.
Lynn Elber (The Hindustan Times)
"We were in our own mad, crazy world," Macnee told the Wichita Eagle in 2003 when The New Avengers was being issued on DVD. "We were the TV Beatles. We even filmed in the same studio."
But while he made his name internationally playing a smart, debonair British secret agent, Macnee was never a fan of the James Bond movies. "I think their stories aren't that realistic," he told Salt Lake City's Deseret News in 1999. "I think the sadism in them is horrifying. ... On the other hand, the books - the James Bond books - were fascinating."
Macnee nearly lost the role of Steed because of his aversion to violence. In a 1997 interview with The Associated Press, he recalled being told by producers that he would have to pack a gun on The Avengers. "I said, 'No, I don't. I've been in World War II for five years and I've seen most of my friends blown to bits and I'm not going to carry a gun.' They said, 'What are you going to carry?' I thought frantically and said, "An umbrella."
Staff (The Economic Times)
The series went off the air in 1969 but was briefly rebooted in the 1970s as "The New Avengers," with Joanna Lumley -- who would later star in "Absolutely Fabulous" -- as Purdey, one of his sidekicks.
The series returned to life again in 1998, in a big-screen version with Ralph Fiennes as the stylish steed, and Uma Thurman donning Peel's leather cat suit.
Macnee had an off-camera, voice-only role. But the film suffered from withering reviews.
Other notable roles for Macnee included 1980s appearances in "This is Spinal Tap," Rob Reiner's razor-sharp rock movie parody, and in the James Bond film "A View to a Kill" alongside Roger Moore's super-spy.
Pour citer cette ressource :
"26 June 2015 - Patrick Macnee dies aged 93", La Clé des Langues [en ligne], Lyon, ENS de LYON/DGESCO (ISSN 2107-7029), juin 2015. Consulté le 29/11/2023. URL: https://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/key-story/archives-revue-de-presse-2015/26-june-2015-patrick-macnee-dies-aged-93