Friday, February 6, 2015

Mr. Steed, I Presume? ... Day 37 of Bond 365

Patrick Macnee
Born this day in 1922
Sir Godfrey Tibbett in A View to a Kill

It is possible that your only exposure to Patrick Macnee, as a Bond fan, will be when he played Sir Goldfrey Tibbett in A View to a Kill (1985) that starred Sir Roger Moore as James Bond. Tibbett was helpful to Bond while at the Zorin villa and the ongoing banter between the two was quite funny. However, for probably most people, Macnee will be most remembered for his role as Mr. Steed in the British series The Avengers (1961-1969) and The New Avengers (1976-1977). As Steed, three of his four female assistants were played by Honor Blackman who went on to play Pussy Galore in Goldfinger (1964), Dame Diana Rigg who was Teresa di Vicenzo in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969), and Joanna Lumley, who played the English Girl in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Linda Thorson played the fourth assistant.

Macnee has worked in film, television, stage, and radio. In the 1950s, he began and developed his acting career with supporting roles while working in Canada and America. In 1961, he was offered the role of John Steed, who for the first season was the assistant for Dr. David Keel (Ian Hendry). From the second season and on, Steed became the lead to some very lovely ladies. It was fascinating to read that Macnee was instrumental in developing Steed’s distinctive look – suit, bowler hat and umbrella. During the 1970s, he guest starred in many of the popular American television series of the decade in a myriad of genres that ranged from sci-fi to crime drama to western.

"Accomplishment is such a patronizing, dangerous word, isn't it? I haven't really accomplished anything. The most accomplished thing I've done is to have lived this long - 81," Macnee is quoted as saying. That said, Macnee is now 93 and according to Wiki, Macnee is one of the few actors to have portrayed both Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson. In addition, per IMDB, he has 170 actor credits to his name!

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