Friends, the late and great Patrick McGoohan sadly passed away back on January 13th of 2009 – at the age of 80. However today would have marked his 92nd birthday and although he has passed on, he did leave behind some incredibly strong performances in film and television as his legacy. Perhaps best known to a certain generation as the villainous King Edward I in 1995’s Academy Award winning Braveheart – he cemented his status as a pop culture icon thanks to The Prisoner, the groundbreaking late ’60s Television series. I grew up hearing about The Prisoner show from my Father – with it’s mix of science fiction and spy settings, it totally hooked him… even if as he admitted he didn’t quite understand it.
I was in my late teens when I found out that The Prisoner TV series was being released by Columbia House – so it was that my first job at a local video store went to paying for the 17 VHS tapes that were sent to me. Not that I wasn’t late on a payment now and again. Patrick McGoohan was an intense and extremely charismatic actor to say the very least and I absolutely fell in love with the series after watching Arrival, the first episode that originally aired in the UK on September 29th of 1967. I was quick to share the show with my group of friends… with some startling results – a few were immediately drawn to it while others openly mocked it. Now if you’ve not had the pleasure of seeing The Prisoner for yourself, I have some very good news, thanks to Shout! Factory’s YouTube channel you can watch the first episode right this minute!
Patrick McGoohan would amass a total of 63 acting credits in film and television – notable highlights include Danger Man, The Three Lives of Thomasina, The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh, Ice Station Zebra, Silver Streak, as well as multiple appearances on Columbo. Perhaps no greater honor was bestowed McGoohan though when he revisited his roles as Number 6 in the December 3rd, 2000 episode of The Simpsons entitled The Computer Wore Menace Shoes!
Do you have a favorite role of Patrick McGoohan, we would love to hear them in the comments section!