Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Deaths Elsewhere

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Deaths Elsewhere

Article excerpt

Patrick Macnee * The British-born actor, best known as dapper secret agent John Steed in the long-running 1960s TV series "The Avengers," has died. He was 93.

Mr. Macnee died Thursday (June 25, 2015) of natural causes with his family at his bedside, his son Rupert said in a statement.

The clever spy drama, which began in 1961 in Britain, debuted in the United States in 1966. It ran for eight seasons and continued in syndication for decades afterward.

Mr. Macnee's umbrella-wielding character appeared in all but two episodes, accompanied by a string of beautiful women who were his sidekicks. The most popular was likely Diana Rigg, who played sexy junior agent Emma Peel from 1965 to 1968. Honor Blackman played Catherine Gale from 1962 to 1964, and Linda Thorson was Tara King from 1968 to 1969.

"We were in our own mad, crazy world," Mr. Macnee told the Wichita Eagle in 2003 when "The New Avengers" was being issued on DVD. "We were the TV Beatles. We even filmed in the same studio."

But while he made his name internationally playing a smart, debonair British secret agent, Mr. Macnee was never a fan of the James Bond movies.

Mr. Macnee nearly lost the role of Steed because of his aversion to violence. In a 1997 interview with The Associated Press, he recalled being told by producers that he would have to pack a gun on "The Avengers."

The talented Macnee, who managed to make his improbable umbrella weapon seem probable, later became an outspoken opponent of the proliferation of privately owned guns.

Mario Biaggi * A former 19-year congressman, whose career ended in disgrace after a pair of corruption convictions, has died. He was 97.

Mr. Biaggi died Wednesday (June 24, 2015) at his home in the Bronx, said Mortimer Matz, his longtime spokesman.

A decorated New York City police officer prior to his political career, Mr. Biaggi was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1968 from a Bronx district later redrawn to include a portion of Yonkers.

He was easily re-elected nine times, but his political career began unraveling in the mid-1980s amid corruption allegations.

The final blow came in 1988 when he was convicted of extorting $3. …

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