Patrick Macnee, left, as John Steed, and Diana Rigg as Emma Peel, British secret agents in a scene from "The Avengers," in 1966.
ABC Photo Archives via AP
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Patrick Macnee, the British-born actor best known as dapper secret agent John Steed in the long-running 1960s TV series "The Avengers," has died.While Macnee made his name internationally playing a smart, debonair British secret agent, Macnee was never a fan of the James Bond movies.Macnee nearly lost the role of Steed because, as he said in a 1997 AP interview, he was told he'd have to pack a gun. He also served in the military during World War II, captaining torpedo boats battling German U-boats in French waters.Before he left Eton, Macnee had discovered acting. "The Avengers" provided a permanent living for Macnee. He owned 2.5 percent of the profits, and the series continued to play worldwide into the 21st century.
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