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Thursday, June 25, 2015


My hero.

It is with great sadness that I note the passing of the one and only Patrick Macnee, who has left us at the age of 93.

THE AVENGERS is one of the classic cult TV series from the 1960's spy craze, earning its place in pop culture history for introducing the badassed female to the screen, and for its eccentric, veddy British quirkiness/surreal aesthetic. Anchoring the show throughout its original run and 1970's revival was Patrick Macnee as foppish gentleman secret agent John Steed, a charming, urbane, witty bon vivant who was the antithesis of government-sanctioned school bully with a license to kill, James Bond. Admittedly something of a caricature of complete and utter Britishness, Steed was a breath of fresh air to American audiences who had never before seen his like, and to me he was the greatest of all the '60's super-spies. Bond may have gotten more pussy than a litter box, but Steed was the one who could offer a companion quality conversation spiced with a genuinely dry sense of humor without Bond's decided mean streak. Capable, smart, and classy almost to a fault, John Steed was — and is — my kind of hero, so three years ago I felt it was finally time to write to Macnee and express my admiration for his work in general and for Steed in particular. Macnee was getting on in years (he was 90 years old when I wrote to him) and I figured my window of opportunity was rapidly closing, thus I sat down and composed what can best be described as a well-worded gushing love letter to Steed and the man who played him, and what he meant to this now-grown American black kid. I then went to Macnee's website to order one of his personalized autographed 8 x 10's and sent the letter along with my request. About a month later, the treasure seen above arrived in the mail.

Raised by his lesbian mom in a country house with her rich lover and forced to wear kilts to feminize him, booted from Eton for selling pornography and being a bookie for fellow students, gaining pop culture immortality as the constant in THE AVENGERS, and appeared in both THIS IS SPINAL TAP and LOBSTER MAN FROM MARS, Patrick Macnee, you were truly awesome. Rest well, sir.

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