Thursday, June 25, 2015

"Mrs. Peel, We're Needed!"

Another sad loss today with the passing of Patrick Macnee, star of TV's THE AVENGERS.

His death was announced on the official Patrick Macnee website. Macnee was 93 and passed on at his home in Rancho Mirage, California.

I fondly remember watching reruns of THE AVENGERS after school in the '70s.  I started with the Linda Thorson episodes but of course, like everyone else, I loved the Diana Rigg episodes the most. Their episodes would invariably start with Steed (Macnee) finding a clever way to convey to Mrs. Peel (Rigg) that "We're needed!" Here's just one example:

And here are a couple versions of the awesome opening title sequence:

Macnee's long screen career began in 1949 and continued until about a dozen years ago. I also especially remember him from the original BATTLESTAR GALACTICA series, which I also loved as a kid, around the same time I was watching him in AVENGERS reruns.

Here are obituaries from Variety, the Los Angeles Times, and the BBC.


Blogger Jerry E said...

Hi Laura
Suave and sophisticated. Qualities Patrick Macnee brought to the screen and too little seen today sadly.

Readers might be interested to know that "THE AVENGERS" started out as a rather dark little series starring Ian Hendry as a police doctor (as I recall) with Patrick as a somewhat shady secret service character called John Steed. It may have centred around Hendry wanting to avenge his wife's death (but it is a long time ago now - 1962 - the memory struggles).
When Series 2 returned Hendry was gone and the series now had a lighter tone with roughly the format we all remember. Now starring Macnee as Steed and Honor Blackman as Cathy Gale, the series really took off and became a huge success. Honor co-starred in 43 episodes from 1962-64 until she got the part of Pussy Galore in the third Bond film "GOLDFINGER". A new partner for Steed had to be found. When the series returned (still in b&w) Steed had a new partner, Mrs Peel, played by a beautiful unknown actress called Diana Rigg. The rest, as they say..........

11:52 PM  
Blogger Terence Towles Canote said...

Even though he was very old, I have been devastated by Mr. Macnee's death. The Avengers is my favourite show of all time and John Steed one of my favourite characters. It is so sad knowing he is gone.

10:11 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Jerry, I loved your background and thoughts on the early years of THE AVENGERS. Thanks very much!

Terry, I'm so sorry, I understand how you feel -- I felt much the same when James Garner passed away last year.

Best wishes,

8:54 AM  

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