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Patrick Macnee    

Patrick Macnee

Steed, 1961-69
The New Avengers
, 1976-77

by David K. Smith

Born 6 February 1922 in London, England, to a wealthy and extraordinarily eccentric family, Patrick Macnee (who pronounces his last name "MACK-knee") spent much of the first eleven years of his life wearing kilts. As his father, a race horse trainer, drank and gambled the family's money away, his lesbian mother and her lover raised Patrick.

His film career began in 1943 while he was serving in the Royal Navy, and it might have ended abruptly at that point as he was nearly killed. On the one occasion he did not set sail on his ship owing to illness, the ship was blown out of the water. After nearly being expelled from Eton for running a gambling ring, he attended the Webber Douglas School of Dramatic Art in 1949.

Steady work in the U.K. was not forthcoming, and so he decided to investigate the thriving film industry in Canada, leaving his wife and two children in London. In 1954 he came to Broadway with the Old Vic troupe, and eventually hit Hollywood, working sporadically in film and television, playing mostly what he referred to as "villainy in a tri-corner hat." In the process he'd fallen out of touch with his wife and children, something he deeply regrets to this day.

Returning to Britain around 1959, Patrick landed an opportunity to co-produce a TV series entitled Winston Churchill - The Valiant Years. Two years later, Sydney Newman was about to make television history with a new TV series entitled The Avengers, and made Patrick an offer he couldn't refuse. Although Patrick wanted to continue producing, Sydney convinced the starving artist to accept the role of John Steed. He remained the sole continuous cast member throughout the series' lengthy, on-again off-again history.

Afterward he returned to America and spent some time living as a beach bum, then went on to appear in countless television shows and films, mostly in light comic roles. He also penned a few books, voiced Jack Higgins stories on audio cassette, and narrated quite a number of video series on ghosts, UFOs and other supernatural phenomena. A birdwatcher (both the feathered and human varieties), Macnee received an award from the Bureau of Federal Aviation for preventing terrorism on aircraft.

Macnee's father was Daniel Macnee; his mother, Dorothea Mary Henry. His first wife was Barbara Douglas; married November 1942, divorced 1956. Children from this marriage were Rupert (a TV producer) and Jenny. His second wife was Catherine Woodville (Dr. Keel's fiancée in "Hot Snow"); married 1965, divorced 1969. His third wife is Baba Sekely (Baba Majos de Nagyzsenye), married February 1988; he became a grandfather that same year. By the way, apparently David Niven is not Patrick's cousin, contrary to many tales. Considered by many to be the "consummate British actor," he has actually been an American citizen since 1959.
 

 Links

 Books available for purchase

  • The Avengers and Me (1998)
  • Blind in One Ear: The Avenger Returns (1992)
  • Deadline (1965)
  • Dead Duck (1965)

 Stage

1987  

Sleuth

1986

Killing Jessica

1984

Sleuth

1983

Don Juan In Hell

1982

House Guest

1975

Made In Heaven

1973

Absurd Person Singular

1973

The Secretary Bird

1972

Sleuth

1970

The Grass Is Greener

1969

The Secretary Bird

1954

A Midsummer Night's Dream

195?

The Wedding Ring

195?

Mansfield Park

195?

The Holly and the Ivy

195?

Ardèle

195?

Victoria Regina

195?

The School for Scandal

195?

The Heiress

195?

Harvey

1951

The Wind and the Rain

1951

Mansfield Park

1947

Julius Caesar

1947

The White Devil

194?

The Assassin

194?

Once There Was Music

1941

Little Women

1941

Broken Blossoms

19??

The Winter's Tale

  

 Film

1998

The Avengers

Voice of Invisible Jones

1991

Waxwork II: Lost in Time

Sir Wilfred

1990

Chill Factor

Carl Lawton

1989

Cult People

Himself

1989

The Eye of the Widow

1989

Masque of the Red Death

Machiavel

1989

Transformations

Father Christopher

1989

Scared Silly

1988

Lobster Man from Mars

Professor Plocostomos

1988

Waxwork 

Sir Wilfred

1988

Alien Transformation

1985

A View to a Kill

Sir Godfrey Tibbett

1985

Shadey

Sir Cyril Landau

1984

Down Under

Narrator

1984

This Is Spinal Tap

Sir Denis Eaton-Hogg

1982

Young Doctors in Love 

Jacobs

1981

The Creature Wasn't Nice, a.k.a. Spaceship,
a.k.a. Naked Space

Dr. Stark

1981

The Hot Touch

Vincent Reyblack

1981

Sweet Sixteen

Dr. John Morgan

1980

The Sea Wolves

Major "Yogi" Crossley

1980

The Howling

Dr. George Waggner

1977

Dead of Night

1977

King Solomon's Treasure

Captain Good R.N.

1972

Bloodsuckers, a.k.a. Incense for the Damned

Derek Longbow

1959

Mission of Danger

1958

Destination Nightmare

1957

Jane Eyre

1957

Les Girls

Sir Percy

1957

Until They Sail

Private Duff

1956

The Battle of the River Plate,
a.k.a. Pursuit of the Graf Spee

Lieut. Commander Medley

1955

Three Cases of Murder

1951

The Elusive Pimpernel,
a.k.a. The Fighting Pimpernel

Hon. John Bristow

1951

A Christmas Carol

Young Jacob Marley

1950

The Girl is Mine

Hugh Hurcombe

1950

Flesh and Blood

(uncredited)

1950

Dick Barton at Bay

1949

All Over the Town

1948

The Small Back Room

1948

Hamlet

1948

The Fatal Night

Tony

1942

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp

(unbilled extra)

1938

Pygmalion

(unbilled extra)

  

 Teleplays/TV Movies

1999

Spies On Spies

1999

Nancherro

1998

Coming Home

Lord Peter Alwiscombe

1993

The Hound of London

Sherlock Holmes

1991

The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw

Sir Colin

1991

P.S. I Luv U

Uncle Ray Bailey

1991

Sherlock Holmes and the Incident at Victoria Falls, a.k.a. The Star of Africa 

Dr. John Watson

1990

Sherlock Holmes and the Leading Lady

Dr. Watson

1990

The Golden Years of Sherlock Holmes

1989

The Search for Haunted Hollywood

1989

Scrooge: A Christmas Carol

Host

1989

The Return of Sam McCloud

Tom Jamison

1989

Sorry, Wrong Number 

1989

Dick Francis: Twice Shy

Geoffrey Keeble

1989

Dick Francis: Blood Sport

Geoffrey Keeble

1986

Club Med

Gilbert Anthony Paige

1983

Automan

Lydell Hamilton

1982

The Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Sir John Raleigh

1982

Rehearsal for Murder

David Mathews

1979

The Fantastic Seven, a.k.a. Steel Glory

Boudreau

1979

The Billion Dollar Threat

Horatio Black

1979

Evening in Byzantium

Ian Waldeigh

1976

Sherlock Holmes in New York

Doctor Watson

1975

Matt Helm

Shawcross

1969

Mr. Jericho

Dudley Jericho

1964

Captain Carvallo

Captain Carvallo

1961

The Winter's Tale

Polixenes

1958

The Veil

Constable Hawton

1956

The Importance of Being Earnest

Algernon

1956

A Night to Remember

Thomas Andrews

1953

Othello

Cassio

1949

Macbeth

Malcolm

1947

Hamlet

1946

Morning Departure

  

 TV Series

2002

America's War - World War II in Color

Narrator

2000

Family Law

1998

In Search of History: Bloody Olde England

Host

1994

Mysteries, Magic and Miracles

Host

1991

P.S. I Luv U

Uncle Ray Bailey

1993

Thunder in Paradise

Edward Whitaker

1993

Super Force

Voice of E.B. Hungerford

1989

Around the World in 80 Days (miniseries)

Ralph Gautier

1984

Empire

Calvin Cromwell

1982

Gavilan

Milo Bentley

1982

For the Term of His Natural Life (miniseries)

Major Vickers

1978

Battlestar Galactica

Narrator; Voice of the Imperious Leader; Count Iblis

1976

The New Avengers

John Steed

1961

The Avengers

John Steed

1959

Swamp Fox

Captain Dragoon

  

 TV Guest Appearances

2001  

Frasier

"The Show Must Go Off"

Cecil Hedley

2000

Family Law

"Second Chance"

Sir Thomas Matthews

1998

Night Man

Pilot; "Devil In Disguise"
"Bad to the Bone"
"Do You Believe in Magic?"

Dr. Walton

1997

Diagnosis Murder

"Discards"

Bernard Garrison

1997

Spy Game

"Why Spy?"

Mr. Black

1997

Spy Game

"How Diplomatic Of You", "Go, Girl"

Dr. Quentin

1993

Kung Fu: The Legend Continues

"Dragonswing", "Dragonswing II"

Steadman

1992

Murder, She Wrote

"The Dead File"

Dayton Whiting

1992

Coach

"Dresswreckers"

Mr. Thind

1992

Dream On

"B.S. Elliot"

Elliot Sterns

1992

Without Walls

"The Avengers"

Himself

1990

The Ray Bradbury Theatre

"Usher II"

Stendahl

1990

Christmas with the Stars

1989

War of the Worlds

"Epiphany"

Valery Kedrov

1988

Murphy's Law

1988

Alfred Hitchcock Presents

"Survival of the Fittest"

Thaddeus

1987

Where There's A Will

1986

Blacke's Magic

1986

Mary

1985

Lime Street

1985

Murder, She Wrote

"Sing a Song of Murder"

Oliver Trumbull

1985

Alfred Hitchcock Presents

"Survival of the Fittest"

Thaddeus

1984

The Love Boat

1984

Ultra Quiz

1984

Hart to Hart

"Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch"

Matthew Grade

1984

Magnum P.I.

"Holmes Is Where the Heart Is"

David Worth/Chee

1983

Hotel

"Hearts and Minds"

1981

Vegas

"Murder By Mirrors"

Lyle Jeffires

1981

Dick Turpin

"The Greatest Adventure"

Lord Melford

1981

House Calls

 

Uncle Digby

1980

The Littlest Hobo

"Diamonds Are a Dog's Best Friend"

Elmer

1979

$weepstake$

1978

The Hardy Boys Mysteries

"Assault on the Tower"

"S"

1975

Columbo

"Troubled Waters"

Captain Gibbon

1973

Diana

Bryan Harris

1971

Alias Smith and Jones

"The Man Who Murdered Himself"

Norman Alexander

1971

Night Gallery

"Logoda's Heads"

Major Crosby

1964

Armchair Theatre

"The Importance of Being Earnest"

Algernon

1964

Love Story

"Divorce, Divorce"

Alan

1964

Love Story

"I Love, You Love, We Love"

Crawford

1962

The Virginian

"A King's Ransom"

1960

Armchair Theatre

"The Innocent"

David Manning

1959

The Twilight Zone

"Judgment Night"

First Officer

1959

Black Saddle

"Client: McQueen"

Michael Kent

1959

Alfred Hitchcock Presents

"The Crystal Trench"

Professor Kersley

1959

Alfred Hitchcock Presents

"Arthur"

Sergeant Farrell

1959

Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond

"Night of April 14th"

Eric Farley

1958

Northwest Passage

"The Red Coat"

1956

Star Tonight

"The Girl"

1955

On Camera

"Skyscraper", "The Lair", "Our Lady's Tumbler", "August Heat", "The Queen's Ring"

  

 Direct-to-Video

2001

The Royal Doulton Story

Presenter

2000

Inside Dr. No

Narrator

2000

Inside On Her Majesty's Secret Service

Narrator

2000

Inside The Man With The Golden Gun

Narrator

2000

Inside The Spy Who Loved Me

Narrator

2000

Inside Moonraker

Narrator

2000

Inside From Russia With Love

Narrator

2000

Inside You Only Live Twice

Narrator

2000

Inside Diamonds Are Forever

Narrator

2000

Inside Octopussy

Narrator

2000

Inside A View To A Kill

Narrator

2000

Inside The Living Daylights

Narrator

2000

Inside License to Kill

Narrator

1999

The Making of Goldfinger

Narrator

1999

The Goldfinger Phenomenon

Narrator

1999

The Making of Thunderball

Narrator

1999

The Thunderball Phenomenon

Narrator

1999

Inside Live and Let Die

Narrator

1999

Inside For Your Eyes Only

Narrator

1999

Inside Licence To Kill

Narrator

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Page last modified 11 May 2003.

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