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14 January 2009

Patrick McGoohan dies

Patrick McGoohan in "The Prisoner"

Patrick McGoohan is destined to forever be remembered at the titular character in the surreal thriller series

The Prisoner

but had an onscreen career lasting some 50 years.

Born in New York to Irish parents on 19 March 1928, he would soon return with his family to County Leitrim in Ireland before moving to Sheffield in the north of England. Starting acting aged 16 McGoohan would work in London's West End before being given a contract to Rank.

It would be his starring role as John Drake in the British spy series

Danger Man between 1962 and 1968 that would bring him international stardom and which would evolve into ideas for The Prisoner

- a deeply personal project that continues to stir debate from fans regarding its deeper meaning. McGoohan would create, produce star and even direct episodes of the series. A remake is currently being developed between ITV in the UK and AMC in the US.

Around the same time McGoohan played the part of the host in a feature length version of Hammer's

Journey to the Unknown tv series entitled Journey Into Darkness. The film combines the episodes Paper Dolls and The New People

with McGoohan onscreen in linking segments.

McGoohan would never quite escape

The Prisoner, parodying the role in an episode of The Simpsons in 2000. He would continue to work in the United States including a part in Mel Gibson's Braveheart (1995), and wrote, produced, directed and starred in episodes of popular American detective show Columbo

alongside his friend Peter Falk (winning two acting Emmy awards in the process).

Patrick McGoohan died 13 January 2009 following a short illness.

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