Patrick Mcgoohan


Actor, Director
Patrick Mcgoohan

About

Also Known As
Joseph Serf, Patrick Joseph Mcgoohan, Archibald Schwartz, Paddy Fitz
Birth Place
Astoria, New York, USA
Born
March 19, 1928
Died
January 13, 2009
Cause of Death
Undisclosed Illness

Biography

This tall, blond, blue-eyed and charismatic leading man of the British stage, TV and films could have been one of the Western world's biggest movie stars. However McGoohan seemed unsuited for this role by both disposition and conviction. Back in the late 1950s/early 60s when he was a rising young actor on the West End London stage, McGoohan was offered the potentially star-making role of...

Family & Companions

Joan Drummond
Wife
Actor. Married May 19, 1951.

Notes

"Film's biggest acting asset is McGoohan, who gives his scenes that elusive 'star' magnetism, a portent of a brilliant career ahead in international filmmaking. In looks and dashing manner not unlike Louis Hayward, and in delivery and inflection reminiscent of the late Charles Laughton. McGoohan is a most accomplished actor with a three-dimensional presence all his own." --From review of "Ice Station Zebra", Daily Variety, October 23, 1968

Biography

This tall, blond, blue-eyed and charismatic leading man of the British stage, TV and films could have been one of the Western world's biggest movie stars. However McGoohan seemed unsuited for this role by both disposition and conviction. Back in the late 1950s/early 60s when he was a rising young actor on the West End London stage, McGoohan was offered the potentially star-making role of James Bond, Agent 007 on Her Majesty's Secret Service. He rejected the part on moral grounds fearing that Bond would be an unhealthy image for his daughters to see. The producers made do with a handsome young Scot named Sean Connery while McGoohan went on to gain some measure of international stardom playing a very different secret agent on British TV.

McGoohan may still be best known as secret agent John Drake in the half-hour espionage series "Danger Man" (1960-61 in the UK; 1961 on CBS in the US) and its hour-long revival (1964-66 in UK; CBS, 1965-66), retitled "Secret Agent" in the US. Even those who have forgotten the show may remember the popular theme song by Johnny Rivers which featured session work by guitarist Eric Clapton. Drake was not cut from the same cloth as Bond. He never carried a gun, never shot anyone and avoided romantic or sexual entanglements. Despite these apparent limitations, the show was a huge success.

Tiring of conventional spy stories, McGoohan approached Sir Lew Grade with an idea for an unusual follow-up series. This would be a satirical, allegorical series about a retired secret agent who gets knocked out after tendering his resignation and wakes up in a playfully Kafkaesque village. Baffled but intrigued, Grade backed the series and "The Prisoner" (1967-68, UK; CBS, 1968- 69) went into production. McGoohan executive produced and starred in what would become one of the most highly regarded series of the decade. He also wrote and directed several episodes using pseudonyms as well as his own name. Primarily concerned with what it means to be an individual in a conformist, regimented society, the show took satirical potshots at various elements of English society. Many found the series' surreal conclusion unsatisfying but its very obscurity served to guarantee its continuing cult status. "The Prisoner" remains popular on college campuses and is often rerun on public TV.

McGoohan was born to Irish parents in the Astoria section of Queens in NYC. He moved to Ireland as an infant and was raised on the family farm until economic hardship prompted a move to England in 1938. On his own by age 16, McGoohan soon began acting in several amateur theater companies. He eventually received professional training and began making a name for himself on the English stage. A notable West End credit was the role of Starbuck in Orson Welles' production of "Moby Dick." His greatest success was the starring role in an acclaimed London production of Ibsen's "Brand" in 1959. McGoohan won the London Drama Critics Award for his powerful portrayal of a principled pastor.

A contract player for the Rank Organization, McGoohan entered films in bit parts, often playing heavies. He first registered in "Hell Drivers" (1958) playing a sadistic trucker. American film audiences may have first encountered McGoohan in several British-American co-productions released by the Walt Disney studio, notably "The Three Lives of Thomasina" (1963), an affecting children's drama told from a cat's point-of-view. McGoohan fared well as a cold but competent doctor who learns how to warm up his bedside manner. His official Hollywood debut came in the lavish political adventure "Ice Station Zebra" (1968) where he won kudos for his charismatic portrayal of a secret agent. Intriguingly, McGoohan failed to follow up with a conventional Hollywood career.

McGoohan hid his clipped British accent and affected a Southern one as a ex-Revenue agent gone bad in "The Moonshine War" (1970). He returned to England to play James Stuart, the treacherous half-brother of "Mary, Queen of Scots" (1971). McGoohan even directed one film, "Catch My Soul" (1973), an unsuccessful, revisionist adaptation of "Othello" starring Richie Havens. After making several acclaimed appearances as an actor and director on the detective series "Columbo"--and winning two Emmys in the process--McGoohan returned to playing movie bad guys in the comedy adventure "Silver Streak" (1976) and the speculative military drama "Brass Target" (1978). He won raves for his shrewdly underplayed portrayal of a megalomaniacal warden opposite determined convict Clint Eastwood in Don Siegel's "Escape from Alcatraz" (1979). McGoohan followed up with a bizarre but affecting small role as a sympathetic "mad" scientist in David Cronenberg's sci-fi thriller "Scanners" (1980). A standard dastardly portrayal in the Disney dinosaur adventure "Baby: The Secret of the Lost Legend" (1985) was followed by a ten-year hiatus from the big screen. Classy TV projects intervened until McGoohan triumphantly returned to the limelight with an acclaimed villainous portrayal of King Edward I a.k.a. "Longshanks" for Mel Gibson's period adventure "Braveheart" (1995). Apparently revitalized by this critical and commercial success, McGoohan followed up with roles in two commercial films set for 1996: "The Phantom," as the title character's father, and "A Time to Kill," as a judge presiding over a murder trial in a small Southern town.

Filmography

 

Director (Feature Film)

Columbo: Murder With Too Many Notes (2001)
Director
Columbo: Ashes to Ashes (1998)
Director
Agenda for Murder (1990)
Director
Catch My Soul (1973)
Director

Cast (Feature Film)

Treasure Planet (2002)
Columbo: Ashes to Ashes (1998)
Hysteria (1997)
Dr Harvey Langston
Hysteria (1996)
The Phantom (1996)
Phantom'S Dad
A Time to Kill (1996)
Braveheart (1995)
Agenda for Murder (1990)
Oscar Finch
Of Pure Blood (1986)
Dr Felix Neumann
Baby ... Secret Of The Lost Legend (1985)
Trespasses (1983)
Fred Wells
Kings and Desperate Men (1981)
Scanners (1981)
Dr Paul Ruth
Escape From Alcatraz (1979)
Brass Target (1978)
The Man In The Iron Mask (1977)
Fouquet
Silver Streak (1976)
Un Genio, Due Compari, Un Pollo (1975)
Mary, Queen of Scots (1971)
James Stuart [Earl of Moray]
The Moonshine War (1970)
Frank Long
Ice Station Zebra (1968)
David Jones
Walk in the Shadow (1966)
Dr. James Brown
Two Living, One Dead (1964)
Berger
The Three Lives of Thomasina (1963)
Dr. Andrew MacDhui
All Night Long (1963)
Johnny Cousin
Dr. Syn - Alias the Scarecrow (1963)
The Quare Fellow (1962)
Thomas Crimmin
Nor The Moon By Night (1959)
The Gypsy And The Gentleman (1958)
Jess
HELL DRIVERS (1957)
Red
High Tide At Noon (1957)
Zarak (1956)
Moor Larkin
The Dam Busters (1955)
Raf Police Sergeant
I Am a Camera (1955)
Swede
Passage Home (1955)

Writer (Feature Film)

Columbo: Murder With Too Many Notes (2001)
Screenplay

Producer (Feature Film)

Columbo: Murder With Too Many Notes (2001)
Co-Executive Producer
Columbo: Ashes to Ashes (1998)
Co-Executive Producer

Cast (Special)

The Best of Friends (1992)
Three Sovereigns For Sarah (1985)

Cast (Short)

The Moonshine War (Featurette) (1970)
Himself
The Man Who Makes the Difference (1968)
Himself

Cast (TV Mini-Series)

Jamaica Inn (1985)

Life Events

1928

Moved to Ireland with family at six months old

1938

Moved with family to Sheffield, England

1948

Acted with the Youth Acting Centre at Sheffield Playhouse

1948

West End (London) stage debut, played Rev. William Weightman in "The Brontes"

1948

Worked as a stage manager for the Sheffield Repertory Company

1955

Appeared in West End productions of "Serious Charge" and "Moby Dick"; played Starbuck in the latter, directed by Orson Welles

1955

Feature acting debut, played the bit part of a RAF Police Sergeant in "The Dam Busters"

1957

Early TV appearance, "The Hanging of Alfred Wadham," an episode of the British anthology series "Rendezvous"

1958

First substantial film role, playing the sadistic trucker Red in "Hell Drivers"

1959

Enjoyed his greatest stage success in the title role of an acclaimed production of Ibsen's "Brand" as an uncompromising pastor

1960

Starred in the British television series "Danger Man"; also directed episodes; aired on CBS in the US

1962

Early film lead, playing a scheming drummer in "All Night Long"

1964

Starred in a revival of "Danger Man" (expanded to an hour), rebroadcast in the US as "Secret Agent"

1968

Hollywood film debut, "Ice Station Zebra"

1968

Created, produced and starred in the British series, "The Prisoner"; also directed and scripted several episodes (sometimes under a pseudonym), aired on CBS in the US

1973

Directed Richie Havens in a rock-opera version of "Othello" called "Catch My Soul"

1974

American TV directing debut, a 90-minute episode of "Columbo" (NBC), also earned an Emmy Award for guest-starring in the episode

1975

Directed second episode of "Columbo" (NBC), also guest-starred in the episode entitled "Identity Crisis"

1977

Appeared in the NBC TV-movie, "The Man in the Iron Mask"; directed by Mike Newell

1977

Starred in the short-lived series "Rafferty" (CBS) as a former army doctor who has retired and moved into private practice

1981

Appeared in David Cronenberg's sci-fi horror film, "Scanners"

1985

Made Broadway debut in "Pack of Lies"

1990

Directed a two-hour "Columbo" movie for ABC entitled "Agenda for Murder"; won an Emmy Award for his guest role as a powerful attorney who commits murder

1991

Starred in Masterpiece Theatre's production of "The Best of Friends" (PBS) alongside Sir John Gielgud and Dame Wendy Hiller

1995

Returned to features to play King Edward I in "Braveheart"

1996

Played the father of the title character (played by Billy Zane) in the film adaptation of "The Phantom"

Photo Collections

Ice Station Zebra - Movie Posters
Here are a few movie posters from Ice Station Zebra (1968), starring Rock Hudson, Jim Brown, Ernest Borgnine, and Patrick McGoohan.

Videos

Movie Clip

All Night Long (1963) - You Kick One Habit Johnny (Patrick McGoohan) manipulates ex-addict Cass (Keith Michell) with some evil weed and mind games at a London jazz party in director Basil Dearden's All Night Long, 1963.
All Night Long (1963) - Margolis on Jazz Stoned Cass (Keith Michell) uses jazz theory to insult impresario Berger (Bernard Braden) who spurns apologies from Rod (Richard Attenborough), Johnny (Patrick McGoohan and Rex (Paul Harris) in All Night Long, 1963.
All Night Long (1963) - It's A Raggy Waltz, Dave Brubeck Dave Brubeck (making his only feature film appearance) leads Brits Bert Courtley and Johnny Scott (trumpet, alto, who both later played on Beatles recordings!) in his own composition It's A Raggy Waltz, actors (Patrick McGoohan et al), spectating, in director Basil Dearden's All Night Long, 1963.
Brass Target (1978) - In Case They Have To Bury Me On location, Lake Geneva, for the introduction of Max Von Sydow as assassin Shelley, found by crooked American officer McCauley (Patrick McGoohan), looking to have General Patton (George Kennedy, photo) knocked off before he finds out who stole the Allied gold shipment, in Brass Target, 1978.
Ice Station Zebra (1968) - My First Name Is Captain At a Scottish naval base, American sub commander Ferraday (Rock Hudson) and crew (Ted Hartley, Sherwood Price) receive smug British agent Jones (Patrick McGoohan) who’s not explaining his mission, relating to a polar research outpost, in Ice Station Zebra, 1968, from an Alistair MacLean novel.
Ice Station Zebra (1968) - If You Must Have A Suspect British spy Jones (Patrick McGoohan), Russian defector Vaslov (Ernest Borgnine) and Commander Ferraday (Rock Hudson) discuss a submarine sabotage attempt in Ice Station Zebra, 1968, from the Alistair MacLean novel.
Ice Station Zebra (1968) - Now Now, Comrade! Commander Ferraday (Rock Hudson) surfaces to pick up Russian defector Vaslov (Ernest Borgnine), warmly greeted by British spy Jones (Patrick McGoohan) in John Sturges' Ice Station Zebra, 1968, from the Alistair MacLean novel.
Brass Target (1978) - A Friend In The Right Uniform John Cassavetes as grizzled Major Joe DeLucca in post-War Germany, inquiring about stolen Allied gold meets unhinged alcoholic fixer Col. McCauley (Patrick McGoohan), who has acquired his Polish ex-girlfriend Mara (Sophia Loren), her first scene, in Brass Target, 1978.
Moonshine War, The (1970) - The Sun's In My Eyes Melodie Johnson as rural Kentucky hotel operator Lizann is revealed here to be the romantic interest of Alan Alda, as bootlegger Son Martin, sharing news about revenuer Long (Patrick McGoohan) visiting from Louisville, checking out his still, and meeting ally Aaron (Joe Williams), in The Moonshine War, 1970, with profanity from Elmore Leonard's novel and screenplay.
Moonshine War, The (1970) - Pussyfoot Scientific Whiskey Expert The friendly approach, in 1932 rural Kentucky, Louisville booze boss Taulbee (Richard Widmark), with crooked fed Long (Patrick McGoohan), goon Dual (Lee Hazlewood) and moll Miley (Susanne Zenor) inquires with distiller Son (Alan Alda) about his sort-of secret giant whiskey stash, in The Moonshine War, 1970, from the Elmore Leonard novel.
Moonshine War, The (1970) - Get Out The Fruit Jars! Louisville crime boss Dr. Taulbee (Richard Widmark), with gunman Dual (Lee Hazlewood) and squeeze Miley (Susanne Zenor), brings increasingly nervous crooked federal agent Long (Patrick McGoohan) to meet freelance crook Boyd (Dick Peabody), his plan to hijack a big local whiskey stash starting to emerge, in The Moonshine War, 1970.
Moonshine War, The (1970) - Iffin' The Law Needs Upholdin' In the opening scene Patrick McGoohan was introduced as Long, a federal agent from Louisville, checked into a provincial Kentucky hotel in 1932, interested in local Son Martin (Alan Alda), introduced here with Will Geer as sheriff Baylor, Bo Hopkins and John Schuck among the crew, in director Richard Quine’s The Moonshine War, 1970, from Elmore Leonard’s novel and screenplay.

Trailer

Family

Thomas McGoohan
Father
Irish.
Rose McGoohan
Mother
Irish.
Catherine McGoohan
Daughter
Anne McGoohan
Daughter
Frances McGoohan
Daughter

Companions

Joan Drummond
Wife
Actor. Married May 19, 1951.

Bibliography

Notes

"Film's biggest acting asset is McGoohan, who gives his scenes that elusive 'star' magnetism, a portent of a brilliant career ahead in international filmmaking. In looks and dashing manner not unlike Louis Hayward, and in delivery and inflection reminiscent of the late Charles Laughton. McGoohan is a most accomplished actor with a three-dimensional presence all his own." --From review of "Ice Station Zebra", Daily Variety, October 23, 1968