Saturday, 27 June 2015
I suspect, like most people, my image of Patrick Macnee is stuck firmly in the 1960s, though he played a lot of parts other than John Steed.
Looking on his official website this morning, I discovered that he'd gone to school with Christopher Lee - they were the same age. He was also friends with another screen idol of mine, David Niven.
And he does seem to have been a genuinely nice man. Charlie Jane Anders has done a very good obituary of him over on i09, where she points out that he was comfortable with sharing the screen with an intelligent, powerful woman (I am slightly too young to remember Cathy Gale, but I always wanted to be Emma Peel).
And he never carried a gun as Steed - saying that he'd seen too many friends blown to bits during the Second World War (he was in the Navy). In later years, apparently, he was in favour of gun control in the United States - he retired to California.
We need more heroes like that.