2009 is gotten off to a rough start. After the death of Bob Wilkins, I caught wind of the news that the talented British actor Patrick McGoohan has passed away at the age of 80. The incredible television series The Prisoner (1967-68) was McGoohan’s own creation and a follow-up to the previous television series he starred in, Danger Man (aka Secret Agent Man, 1964-67). Both shows are available on DVD and they’re well worth watching in their entirety, but The Prisoner is arguably the best television show ever created.
Besides acting, writing and directing for television, McGoohan also appeared in some terrific films. A couple of my favorite Patrick McGoohan performances can be found in All Night Long (1962) where he plays a cool as ice jazz musician in this original take on Shakespeare’s Othello and in Ice Station Zebra (1968) where McGoohan easily out shines the rest of the cast playing a role he perfected on television, a British spy. He was also memorable as Dr. Paul Ruth in Scanners (1981) and as the warden in Escape from Alcatraz (1979).
Style, class, brains, good looks and a wonderful voice that commanded your attention were just a few of the things that made McGoohan stand apart from many of his contemporaries. Unfortunately the qualities that McGoohan possessed seem to be in short supply these days so I’m sad to see him go.
“I am not a number! I am a free man!”
– Number 6 (Patrick McGoohan in The Prisoner)
Patrick McGoohan was definitely not just a number. He was a great actor and I wish he had appeared in more films during his lifetime.
The Prisoner (opening sequence, 1967)
Hopefully the rest of my January posts will be less dreary. I’ve been mourning my recently deceased cat and busy with work, so I haven’t had much time for blogging about movies lately. I am slowly compiling my Favorite DVDs of 2008 list that I hope to share before the month is over so keep an eye out for that.