Los Angeles Times

'The Prisoner' Star Patrick McGoohan Dies

Patrick McGoohan, an Emmy Award-winning actor who starred as a British spy in the 1960s TV series "Secret Agent" and "The Prisoner" and was known for playing various villainous roles in films and on television, has died. He was 80.

McGoohan died peacefully Tuesday (Jan. 14) in St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica after a short illness, said Cleve Landsberg, McGoohan's son-in-law. The family did not provide further details.

It was the height of James Bond mania in 1965 when McGoohan showed up on American TV screens in "Secret Agent," a British-produced series in which he played John Drake, a special security agent working as a spy for the British government. The hour-long series, which ran on CBS until 1966, was an expanded version of "Danger Man," a short-lived, half-hour series on CBS in 1961 in which McGoohan played the same character.

But it was McGoohan's next British-produced series, "The Prisoner," on CBS in 1968 and 1969, that became a cult classic.

Once described as an "espionage tale as crafted by Kafka," "The Prisoner" starred McGoohan as a British agent who, after resigning his post, is abducted and held captive by unknown powers in a mysterious village, where he known only as No. 6.

McGoohan created and executive-produced the series, which ran for only 17 episodes. He also wrote and directed several episodes. A remake of the series, which had McGoohan's blessing, will air later this year on AMC.

Among the memorable villains he played on screen was England's sadistic King Edward I in Mel Gibson's 1995 film "Braveheart."

As a guest star on TV's "Columbo," McGoohan won Emmys in 1975 and 1990.

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