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'The Avengers' star Patrick Macnee dies, aged 93

British actor Patrick Macnee has passed away in Rancho Mirage, California, aged 93. He was best known for his role as bowler-hat-wearing secret agent John Steed in the 1960s TV spy series "The Avengers."

Joanna Lumley, Gareth Hunt and Patrick MacNee

While Macnee, pictured above right, had other roles, he was best known for playing debonair spy John Steed

Macnee died "a natural death … with his family at his bedside," Macnee's son wrote on his father's website on Thursday.

"He was at home wherever in the world he found himself. He had a knack for making friends, and keeping them. Wherever he went, he left behind a trove of memories and good wishes," the statement said in tribute to the late actor.

Born in London in 1922, Macnee was educated at the historic Eton College in Windsor, southern England.

After the Second World War, he returned to the UK capital where he eventually landed a handful of minor acting roles, both onstage and screen. Among them was an uncredited appearance in Laurence Olivier's 1948 silver screen version of William Shakespeare's "Hamlet."

It was his role as suave spy John Steed, in the hugely successful 1960s television spy series "The Avengers," however, which brought Macnee international fame.

The series was briefly rebooted in the 1970s as "The New Avengers," in which Macnee starred alongside British actress Joanna Lumley (pictured above, left).

Macnee also made an appearance in the 1985 James Bond film "A View to a Kill" opposite Roger Moore's reincarnation of the MI6 agent.

Moore tweeted a tribute to the actor late on Thurday.

Macnee was married three times and leaves behind a son and daughter.

ksb/rc (AFP)