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Patrick McGoohan - Be Seeing You, Number Six; Patrick McGoohan - An Obituary
Written by Paul Rance
Thursday, 15 January 2009


Patrick McGoohan, who died on January 13th, 2009 after a short illness, made his name on TV, firstly as John Drake in 'Danger Man', then transforming the Drake character into the rebellious, iconic, Number Six in the surreal, cult classic 'The Prisoner'. Very much in the spirit of the '60s, 'The Prisoner' was about a man imprisoned in a place with the deceptively cosy name, 'The Village'. Number Six refuses to abide by the rules, and the brooding panache Patrick McGoohan brought to his role remains one of the most memorable of all TV performances.

Ironically, Patrick McGoohan turned down the role of James Bond because of the permissiveness of the character, and the part went to Sean Connery - who co-starred with McGoohan in the 1957 British movie 'Hell Drivers'. McGoohan also turned down the part of Simon Templar in the hit British TV series 'The Saint', which made a star of another Bond actor - Roger Moore. Patrick's career didn't really suffer though, and he was, at one point in the '60s, the highest paid TV star in the UK.

McGoohan won a Best Actor BAFTA in 1959, and two Emmys (1975, 1990) for two appearances in the very popular American TV detective series 'Columbo' - playing different characters, and though TV was where McGoohan gained his greatest acclaim, his film work was not to be sniffed at. As brutish lorry driver Red in 'Hell Drivers', and as an inhuman prison warden in 'Escape From Alcatraz (1979)', Patrick McGoohan displayed his powerful screen presence, and the great Orson Welles once described himself "intimidated" by McGoohan's presence on stage - and gave him the role of Starbuck in his 'Moby Dick Rehearsed' production.

Born in Astoria, Queens, New York City, on March 19th, 1928, Patrick McGoohan moved to Ireland as a baby, and as a child moved to England, where his acting career began. Patrick died in Santa Monica, California. He was 80, and is survived by his wife of 57 years, Joan Drummond, daughters Catherine, Anne, and Frances, five grandchildren - Sarah, Erin, Simon, Nina, and Paddy, and great-grandson Jack Patrick Lockhart.

Patrick McGoohan Filmography (films in bold, and most recent TV and film appearances listed first)

Treasure Planet (voice) (2002) Character - Billy Bones
The Simpsons (voice) (2000) (TV) Character - Number Six
Columbo: Ashes To Ashes (1998) (TV) Character - Eric Prince
Hysteria (1998) Character - Dr. Harvey Langston
A Time To Kill (1996) Character - Judge Omar Noose
The Phantom (1996) Character - Phantom's Dad
Braveheart (1995) Character - Longshanks, King Edward I
The Best Of Friends (1991) (TV) Character - George Bernard Shaw
Columbo: Agenda For Murder (1990) (TV) Character - Oscar Finch
Murder, She Wrote (1987) (TV) Character - Attorney Oliver Quayle
Of Pure Blood (1986) (TV) Character - Dr. Felix Neumann
... aka The Nazis: Of Pure Blood
American Playhouse (TV) (1985) Character - Chief Magistrate
Baby: Secret Of The Lost Legend (1985) Character - Doctor Eric Kiviat
Trespasses (1984) Character - Fred Wells

Jamaica Inn (1983) (TV) Character - Joss Merlyn
Kings And Desperate Men (1981) Character - John Kingsley
Scanners (1981) Character - Dr. Paul Ruth
Escape From Alcatraz (1979) Character - Warden

The Hard Way (1979) (TV) Character - John Connor
Brass Target (1978) Character - Col. Mike McCauley
Rafferty (1977) (TV) Character - Dr. Sid Rafferty
The Man In The Iron Mask (1977) (TV) Character - Fouquet
Silver Streak (1976) Character - Roger Devereau
Genio, due compari, un pollo, Un (1975) Character - Major Cabot

Columbo: Identity Crisis (1975) (TV) Character - Nelson Brenner/Colorado
Columbo: By Dawn's Early Light (1974) (TV) Character - Col. Lyle C. Rumford
Mary, Queen Of Scots (1971) Character - James Stuart
The Moonshine War (1970) Character - Frank Long
Ice Station Zebra (1968) Character - David Jones

The Prisoner (1967-68) (TV) Character - Number Six
Journey Into Darkness (1968) Character - Host
Danger Man (1964-67) (TV) Character - John Drake
... aka Secret Agent (USA)
Koroshi (1966) (TV) Character - John Drake
The Three Lives Of Thomasina (1964) Character - Andrew McDhui
Disneyland 1963 (TV) Character - Dr. Christopher Syn
The Prisoner (1963) (TV) Character - The Interrogator
The Quare Fellow (1962) Character - Thomas Crimmin
Life For Ruth (1962) Character - Doctor Brown
... aka Condemned To Life
... aka Walk In The Shadow (USA)
All Night Long (1962) Character - Johnnie Cousin

Rendezvous (1961) (TV) Character - Gilbert Stoner
ITV Play Of The Week (1958-1961) (TV) Several Characters
Danger Man (1960-61) (TV) Character - John Drake
Two Living, One Dead (1961) Character - Erik Berger
Armchair Theatre (1958-1961) (TV) Characters - Jack 'Pal' Smurch and Nicholai Soloviov
Brand (1959) (TV) Character - Brand
ITV Television Playhouse (1958) (TV) Characters - Mat Galvin
This Day In Fear (1958) (TV) Character - James Coogan
The Vise (1955-58) (TV) Characters - Tony Mason and Vance
The Gypsy And The Gentleman (1958) Character - Jess
Hell Drivers (1957) Character - C. 'Red' Redman, Foreman (Truck 1)
High Tide At Noon (1957) Character - Simon Breck

The Adventures Of Aggie (1956-57) (TV) Character - Jocko and Migual
Assignment Foreign Legion (1957) (TV) Character - Capt. Valadon
Zarak (1956) Character - Moor Larkin
The Adventures Of Sir Lancelot (1956) (TV) Character - Sir Glavin
BBC Sunday-Night Theatre (1955) (TV) Character - Seth Makepeace
I Am A Camera (1955) Character - Swedish Water Therapist
Margin For Error (1955) (TV) Character - James Hartley
Passage Home (1955) Character - McIssacs
Moby Dick Rehearsed (1955) (TV) Character - A Serious Actor/Starbuck
You Are There (1954) (TV) Character - Charles Stewart Parnell

Columbo: Ashes To Ashes (1998) (TV) (co-executive producer)
The Prisoner (1967-68) (TV) (executive producer)

Columbo: Murder With Too Many Notes (2000) (TV)
Columbo: Ashes To Ashes (1998) (TV)
Columbo: Agenda For Murder (1990) (TV)
Rafferty: The Wild Child (1977) (TV)
Columbo: Last Salute To The Commodore (1976) (TV)
Columbo: Identity Crisis (1975) (TV)
Catch My Soul (1974)
The Prisoner (5 episodes, 1967-1968) (TV)
- Fall Out (1968)
- Once Upon A Time (1968)
- A Change Of Mind (1967) (as Joseph Serf)
- Many Happy Returns (1967) (as Joseph Serf)
- Free For All (1967)
Danger Man (2 episodes, 1965-1966) (TV)
... aka Secret Agent (USA)
- The Paper Chase (1966)
- To Our Best Friend (1965)
Danger Man (1 episode, 1961) (TV)
- The Vacation (1961)

Columbo: Murder With Too Many Notes (2000) (TV) (teleplay)
Columbo: Ashes To Ashes (1998) (TV) (uncredited)
The Prisoner (6 episodes, 1967-1968) (TV)
- Fall Out (1968) (written by)
- Once Upon A Time (1968) (written by)
- Free For All (1967) (writer) (as Paddy Fitz)

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