Patrick McGoohan: Be Seeing You

Patrick McGoohan The Prisoner

As we reported earlier today, Patrick McGoohan, best known for TVís The Prisoner, passed away on January 13th after a short illness.

Born in New York City but raised in Ireland, and later Sheffield, England, he worked a variety of jobs (such as chicken farmer and lorry driver) before turning to acting. After joining the Sheffield Repertory Theatre as its stage manager, he began his acting career, having to fill in for one of the cast.

McGoohan played a variety of parts on stage, including being cast as Starbuck in an Orson Welles production of Moby Dick Rehearsed. More theatre roles and television stints led to him being cast in the British spy series Danger Man (Secret Agent in the US). In the role of John Drake, the actor gained popularity on both sides of the pond. However, at the beginning of the fourth series of Danger Man, he became bored and turned in his resignation, setting up his own production company instead.

Collaborating with author and script editor George Markstein, McGoohan co-created a new type of series: The Prisoner. Centering on the story of a secret agent who turns in his resignation and suddenly finds himself in a prison masquerading as a village, McGoohan portrayed the role of the agent known only as Number Six. The series explored themes such as social indoctrination and dream manipulation, the likes of which had never been seen before on television. The series has since influenced a number of other genre shows including Babylon 5 and Battlestar Galactica. The actor even reprised his role in an episode of The Simpsons.

Most famously, the actor turned down the role of James Bond in Dr. No but went on to appear in such movies as Ice Station Zebra, Braveheart and Scanners. His last role was in 2002ís Treasure Planet. However, for many people, McGoohan will always be Number Six.

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