A generation of moviegoers may remember him as evil King Edward Longshanks in Mel Gibson's Oscar-winning 1995 epic "Braveheart", but he was a small-screen favorite in the 1960s with "Danger Man" (known in the U.S. as "Secret Agent") and later "The Prisoner". Few people know that he was considered for the role of James Bond before Sean Connery, but turned it down for moral reasons. A devout Catholic, he objected to the supersleuth's womanizing, and he turned down the lead role of Simon Templar in the 1960s series "The Saint" for the same reason. His character Paul Drake in "Danger Man" treated women with respect, and left their virtue intact. Drake also used his wits before resorting to violence. Bond and Templar are okay, but would have been more likable with Patrick McGoohan in the roles. He will be missed.
I think personally that Patrick McGoohan is a really cool and brilliant actor, one of the best of his generation. He is great in everything he's in, from "The Prisoner" to "Escape from Alcatraz", from "A Time to Kill" to "The Simpsons". It's a shame that he turned down the chance to play James Bond (it would've been great if the first Bond was an Irish guy!) and Gandalf in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy (ditto).
I mostly know him from "The Prisoner", which I saw for the first time this week. I watched all 17 episodes over four days. He was truly a visionary when he developed the series. I just wish he'd come forward and explain what the hell the last episode means! I doubt the answers exist anywhere except his mind. My least favourite episode was "Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darling" for the very reason that he was only in ONE scene, at least in original footage. I missed his dry British (his character was British, but he's Irish) wit throughout that episode and thought Nigel Stock was a pretty poor substitute.
In terms of coolness and humour, he really is the Irish equivalent of Richard Dean Anderson.
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