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• Patrick McGoohan, who evolved from playing “Secret Agent” John Drake to starring in, writing, directing and producing “The Prisoner,” one of the most innovative television series ever created, died this week. He was 80.

McGoohan at one point in the sixties was the highest paid actor in England as a result of his starring role as Drake in both “Danger Man” and “Secret Agent.” He famously had turned down the role of James Bond before Sean Connery was cast, saying he did not approve of the violence and sex ; he also had turned down the role of Simon Templar in “The Saint” before Roger Moore was cast. But he will best be remembered for “The Prisoner,” which portrayed a retired British spy who was kidnapped and imprisoned in a futuristic place called “The Village” where people have been stripped of their names and given numbers, and where it is impossible to tell the prisoners from the wardens. McGoohan’s character was christened ‘Number Six,” and we never learned his real name, though his constant refrain was “I am not a number, I am a free man!”

In the late sixties, when “the establishment” was at war with some notions of personal freedoms, the series was seen as profound and ground-breaking. It had real resonance when Number Six said, “I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own.”

After the 17 episodes of “The Prisoner,” McGoohan did a number of “Columbo” television movies, and was compelling in movies ranging from “Ice Station Zebra” to “Braveheart” to “Escape from Alcatraz.” And he did a lovely little series about a retired Army doctor that almost nobody remembers called “Rafferty.” But it as Number Six, looking for answers and freedom, that McGoohan left a permanent and compelling mark.

• Richard Montalban, who perhaps will be best remembered for playing the villainous Khan Noonien Singh on an episode of “Star Trek” called “Space Seed,” which later spawned the plot of “Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan,” died at age 88.

Also well known for his role as Mr. Roarke on TV’s “Fantasy Island,” Montalban was one of the first Mexican actors to gain broad and mainstream appeal in Hollywood.

But it was as the genetically engineered Khan – with an amazingly muscular chest that Montalban pointed out was his own – with which he will be forever remembered, saying of his nemesis Captain James T. Kirk, “He tasks me. He tasks me and I shall have him! I'll chase him 'round the moons of Nibia and 'round the Antares Maelstrom and 'round Perdition's flames before I give him up!”

And, in the closing moments of the film, quotes Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick”: “From hell's heart, I stab at thee. For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee.”

Doesn’t get any better than that.

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