back to article Prisoner star Patrick McGoohan dies at 80

Patrick McGoohan, creator of The Prisoner and star of Danger Man, has died after a short illness in a hospital in Santa Monica, California, aged 80. The Irish American actor's work in the 60s foreshadowed concerns about freedom and personal privacy that remain key political issues today, thanks to the erosion of liberties …


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  1. M

    "Be Seeing You"

    RIP Patrick McGoohan

  2. Jasmine Strong

    Actually not quite.

    They were shot at the Portmeirion Hotel, which is in Penrhyndeudraeth.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    They won't get him.. hook or by crook, they did.


  4. W
    Black Helicopters

    He was not a number...

    ...and now he *is* a free man.

    And as reminder to us all: “I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered! My life is my own.”

    RIP. Be seeing you.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I am not a Number

    You will be missed.

  6. Yorkshirepudding

    not a good day

    McGoohan and Montalban both RIP

    he's there in heaven now tearing around in his lotus 7 being chased by giant beach balls

    bless you sir

  7. Dale Richards

    Be seeing you...

    ...would be a more appropriate sub-headline, of course.

    That said, I'm sad to learn of Mr McGoohan's death. The Prisoner was unlike any TV show produced before or since, and will never really be replaced.

  8. Chris J
    Dead Vulture

    RIP Patrick M

    He'll finally found out who really is number one.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Actually not quite.

    no, Portmeirion Hotel is in Portmeirion, hence the name. Penrhyndeudraeth is the biggest nearest town, which is about 2 miles away.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is NOT meant to demean the guy at all, just wondering?

    RIP Patrick: first discovered The Prisoner back in the 80's when C4 re-ran the series. Me and some friends would spend the next morning in the school yard coming up with new ways to say "what the fuck?!", but we loved it all the same!

  11. Mark Edwards
    Dead Vulture

    We can treat folly with kindness . . .

    . . . knowing that soon his wild spirit will quieten, and the foolishness will fall away to reveal a model citizen (No2 to No6 -- The Prisoner, Dance of the Dead)

    RIP Mg McGoohan ... looks like you managed to escape the village after all.

    ... be seeing you.

  12. Andrew West

    No sooner dead...

    And he's probably already turning in his grave with the news that they're already trying to reimage the series.

  13. Martin

    Ian McKellern as No. 2?

    Isn't the whole point of the program that there are multiple no. 2s? A different one each week?

    Typical Yanks, messing with perfection.

    Sorry to see Mr McGoohan is no longer with us. I'm old enough to remember Danger Man (though not much about it....). But The Prisoner is just amazing - once seen, never forgotten.

  14. Nic Brough


    A sad day, we have lost a brilliant actor who portrayed an iconic hero.

    We all need a Number 6 to keep asking questions about our freedom, and I wish we had more actors of McGoohan's caliber.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Bad start to 2007

    Steve Jobs is seriously ill, Patrick McGoohan dies.

    Will ITV show the series on TV again or will someone be banking on people buying the DVDs... at between £35 and £80 a set ?

  16. h4rm0ny

    Sad day...

    I'd like to say rest in peace, but I kind of like the idea of him charging round Heaven demanding to see "Number One". He was so much more than an actor. I'm alarmed to hear that someone is remaking The Prisoner, but I'll give it a fair shot. If they keep the same message and idealism from the original, then hopefully it's something PM would have approved of.

    Farewell - you were always a free man,

    (I should have put a sad face for a sad event, but I can't help but smile as I remember that series).

  17. Ron Murray

    Harry Lime?

    > from Harry Lime to Jason Bourne.

    Assuming you mean the Harry Lime from "The Third Man", the movie was produced in 1949, or so IMDB tells me. Graham Greene probably wrote the book well before that. Somehow I doubt that he was influenced by Danger Man.

    Sorry to hear about Patrick, tho.

  18. W

    Nice interview here:

  19. Laughing Otter

    His secrets are safe now...

    Yeah, like Martin said, I'm dreading what America's going to do to this 'reimaging', and I'm an American! From the same area Mr Caviezel's from, no less!

    Not to mention there was also a very well-done four-part graphic novel that DC did in 1990 (roundabouts).

    "Tearing around in his Lotus 7 being chased by giant beach balls". Hahaha! That's brilliant. How about adding, "and several thousand angry Scots"...

    Mine's the blue blazer with the white piping and the straw boater hat.

  20. Doug Glass

    Farewell Brother

    You are now #1.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Harry Lime

    I think the writer means Harry Palmer, the movie name given to Len Deighton's nameless hero. Still, The IPCRESS File was made in '65, so inspiration is questionable.

  22. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Angry Scots

    I sympathize as well. I was subjugated by the series, and the last episode was a serious let-down. But it will never diminish the value of the rest of the series.

    I salute you, Sir 6.

  23. Shane Orahilly

    @ W

    >And as reminder to us all: “I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered! My life is my own.”<

    Sounds like The Prisoner would have made the perfect icon for the NO2ID campaign.

    I never even noticed he played Longshanks in Braveheart. I feel ashamed.

  24. Nano nano

    DM influence

    Don't forget Danger Mouse !! (or Penfold ...)

  25. Ken Okumura


    Loved The Prisoner - got into it only after staying at the hotel and seeing it on constant loop on their TV sets. I was holding out for a film version with him making a cameo appearance.

  26. davebarnes

    Let us not forget this movie


    Patrick was a great bad guy.

  27. Anonymous Coward


    thanks to the erosion of liberties pushed forward by governments as necessary in the fight against terrorism.

    I think you really meant to write "imagined as necessary". for shame.

    RIP sir.

  28. Anonymous Coward

    I'm 33, I shouldn't know the words, but I do.

    Where am I?

    In the village.

    What do you want?


    You won't get it.

    By hook or by crook, we will. We want Information, information. Information.

    Who are you?

    The new number 2.

    Who is number 1?

    You are number 6.

    I am not a number I'm a free man!


  29. Nebulo

    Yes, a sad day.

    Loved the series on its first showing, even more on seeing it several times since. Unique, thought-provoking and weirdly prophetic.

    He will be remembered, and deservedly so. Rest in peace, Patrick, and thanks.

  30. Neoc

    Sad smile...

    I loved his character in "The Prisoner", I thoroughly enjoyed his appearance in "Ice Station Zebra".

    I can just imagine him at the Pearly Gates, haranguing Peter when asked about his life: "I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered."

    Mine's the black sports jacket with white trim.

  31. Rogan Paneer

    @ Harry Lime

    It's the Harry Lime of the TV series staring Michael Rennie- although as this ran from 1959 to 1965, it started before Dangerman (1960+).

  32. Joe M

    Another loss

    A great actor passes. He never played goodies or badies, he brought characters alive and made them real. I will miss him. Good bye Secret Agent a.k.a. Danger Man a.k.a. Matrick Mcgoohan.

  33. Geoffrey W

    Many Happy Returns

    He'll be back.

    They wont let him get away that easily.

  34. Robert E A Harvey
    IT Angle


    He was the gate corporal in 'Dambusters', Tha knows...

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Ron Murray and @Rogan Paneer

    Although Greene did write the book, The Third Man, this was published after the film came out. Greene did say that he had to write it as a book first, in order to be capable of writing the screenplay he had been commissioned to do - but there's a very good chance that he is being disingenuous and wrote the book to cash in on the film’s huge success.

    Well before the TV show, there was The Third Man radio series (starring Welles) and this provided the template for the telly version.

  36. Sam Tana

    @ Andrew West

    I doubt Paddy will be turning in his grave, as he was involved in the new series based on The Prisoner - a series which was magnificent overall but did fall apart completely in the hotch-potch of it's finale. Perhaps the new version will use the original (excellent) idea for the finale which was ditched after McGooghan fell out with the show's original producer?

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