Thursday, January 15, 2009

RIP : Patrick McGoohan

More sad news from Hollywood; Patrick McGoohan passed away yesterday at the age of 80.

McGoohan rose to fame playing British spy John Drake on Danger Man, a British series that aired as Secret Agent in the US. He was reportedly offered the role of James Bond in 1962, but he turned it down, purportedly because he considered the character too immoral.

In 1967, he created The Prisoner. Some would regard the series as a sequel to Danger Man, with the series being the surreal and complex story of a secret agent who resigns and is then abducted to a bizarre village where people have numbers, not names, and where a succession of "Number 2"s try to uncover the reason behind his resignation.

It was a bizarre, complex, absurd and somewhat mystifying series about identity and individuality. It only ran for 17 episodes, but it would become one of the earliest cult TV shows, and remains one of the most innovative and original series in TV history. McGoohan was the driving force, creating, producing and writing much of the show.

In the 1970s, he turned to American film and television. He appeared in Escape from Alcatraz and Silver Streak, and won an Emmy for an appearance on Columbo, one of many appearances on the show. He would also direct many episodes of the detective series.

In 1995, he appeared in Braveheart, and it was among his final roles. It looks like Number 6 has finally escaped.

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