Class, aplomb, style and panache are hard to find these days. Especially all of them together. But when those words are used in the same sentence, one man comes vividly to mind: Mr. Patrick Macnee, aka, Mr. John Steed.
From my childhood, I vaguely recall The Avengers television series. I cannot recall what night of the week it came on, I only know it came on after my bedtime (I would swear it followed the Doris Day show but can find no evidence of that schedule). And, it being the sixties, my mother thought the series was too violent for me to watch at that age.
Compared to the violence currently dispatched on the evening news, The Avengers were no more threatening than Tribbles (from Star Trek notoriety) or a goose-down pillow.
I recently invested in The Avengers DVDs; the ones with Diana Rigg as Mrs. Peel, if you please.
After watching the series I must confess: there is something appealing about the quintessential English gentleman. Not in a sexual sense, at least not from my perspective. But there is something in the way Mr. Steed carries himself; the way his suit, Bowler hat and umbrella all match, as well as fit perfectly; his succinct British enunciation. All of that combined make me want to stand up, straighten my spine and salute something. English or American, it doesn’t matter as long as it’s worthy of the respect.
Mr. Macnee was quite capable of being the quintessential English gentleman. From what I understand he was as dapper and unflappable in his personal life as he was on screen. Or was he as dapper and unflappable on screen as he was in his personal life?
Either way, I’m certain women – English and American alike – swooned over Mr. Macnee. No, he didn’t have the rugged, chiseled handsomeness of Rock Hudson. He couldn’t sing a note, nor was he young and idealistic like any member of The Beatles.
But he had his appeal, all right.
I am also certain that young Englishmen at the time learned a great deal about being a gentleman from the inimitable Mr. Macnee.
The time period of Patrick Mcnee was a simpler time. A man was as good as his word; a handshake could seal a deal; manners, respect, trust and truth: all of these values were valued during that time.
In these times, it seems those values have gone the way of the dodo bird. Yet these are the times those values are most needed.
Most of The Avengers episodes with Diana Rigg began with an announcement from Mr. Steed: “Mrs. Peel – We’re Needed” was found, at times, in the oddest of places.
On June 25, 2015, it was decided by a power of higher convention that Mr. Daniel Patrick Macnee should receive the announcement: “Mr. Macnee – You’re Needed.”
I am certain he was greeted with the same class, aplomb, style and panache that he carried with him.
Sir, you will be remembered.
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