The Avengers Talk About Their Love Lives

The 3rd series of The Avengers has got us already glued to our television sets. In Canada, Gambit, Purdey and Steed have already started the next one. It can’t get better than this. They’re definitely 3 people to envy. Or so it seems in the television series. But how about in reality? Are Joanna Lumley, Gareth Hunt and Patrick Macnee just as enviable in their private lives?

All 3 of them have been married, and all their marriages failed. At this moment they’re all unmarried. For Patrick Macnee (Steed) it’s the hardest. It’s hard to imagine. In The Avengers he’s the handsome, successful, bowler hat wearing man who drives around in a Bentley and is always surrounded by beautiful women. In reality he’s a bit of a sad 55 year old man. Disappointed, insecure and he needed some psychiatric treatment to get back on track. His 2 marriages failed miserably. And he still doesn’t regret it.

“I haven’t had sex in years,” reveals Patrick Macnee. “When you reach 50, the flame stops burning. It’s no longer a necessity to get into every girl’s bed. Life gets easier. If I would try to get involved with young girls now, it would be ridiculous, humiliating and shameful.”

Every now and then, Patrick gets extremely lonely. Nowadays he lives in Palm Springs, United States, with his daughter Jenny. The actor has done everything within his power to help her get over her severe asthma. She and brother Rupert are from his first marriage to Barbara Douglas. He feels that the divorce has been the cause of her asthma.

Luckily they live next door to one of the private doctors of the late president Kennedy, so Jenny’s in good hands.

The reason why Patrick won’t marry again after 2 failed marriages?

“I’m only attracted to one type of women,” he says. “I could’ve had an affair with Diana Rigg, the actress from one of the previous series. She’s the spitting image of my first wife. Luckily I share a close friendship with her.”

“But marriage? No. Why marry the same kind of woman over and over again?”

His only heart’s desire is grandchildren. “Perhaps I can fill the void in my life with that.” At the moment his children are both unmarried, so Patrick will just have to be patient.

Talking During the Wedding Night

Gareth Hunt (Gambit) is 34 years old and has been living together with Carrie for nearly 4 years. He lives in Putney, and he’s very content with that. “I don’t think marriage would work for me at the moment,” Gareth says. “I have the wrong kind of job for that, and to be honest, me and Carrie just don’t feel like it. I married for the first time when I’d just returned from the sea. I went there when I was 15.

We didn’t have money to pay for a honeymoon. After the wedding we immediately went back to our rented room. I can remember clearly how my landlord kept me awake by talking to me for half the night, during my wedding night, with stories about his many experiences during the war. Carol must’ve already had bad feelings about our marriage back then.” They had a son together, but when Gareth suddenly decided to get a theatrical education, the marriage ended. Gareth says “We don’t hate each other, we’ve never let it get that far. We’re still on good terms.”

Women aren’t Gareth’s biggest fear. It’s the men that scare him. “I often run into these tough guys, who don’t see me as Gareth the actor, but as Gambit the super-hero. They challenge me to a fight. And when that happens, I’m in trouble.” It happened to him during a promotional trip to Paris. He was brought to a stand still by a 60 year old man. “This guy put a gun in my hands that went off next to my ear. It really hurt. After that he took the gun away and decided to beat me up as well. Onlookers thought it was fantastic. They were applauding, because Gambit was losing.”

So what does he think of the gorgeous Purdey?

"There’s something about her that appeals to me, but I consider her just a friend."

Purdey herself is completely smitten with one Michael Kitchen. Once she was married to Jeremy Lloyd for about 8 months. But it was all just a big joke.

“We must’ve been completely out of our minds,” says Joanna Lumley. “We were both working on the same film, we’d known each other for 3 weeks, and we went off to get married. Directly after finishing the film, he had to go to America, to finish some other work there. Of the 8 months of marriage, we probably only spent about 4 of them together.”

She’s now fallen for this Mr. Kitchen, but 30 year old, long legged Joanna doesn’t really feel like tying the knot. “We’re just living together and having a great time!”

“I don’t see why signing a piece of paper should make any difference in a relationship. But if he’d ask me, I’d do it. If he would say: let’s do this when we’re 60, I’d wait, because I’d still be with him then. I love him more than I love life itself. Love is something different than just being friendly. Love makes your heart beat faster and makes you go weak in the knees whenever you see him. And that’s exactly how I feel about Michael.”

She’s had a fling with Rod Stewart for a while. His fast and exciting way of life appealed to her, but in the end it wasn’t to be.

“I’ve been hurt by men many times over,” she says. “But I’ve got the fastest healing heart in show business. I’ll sit and cry for 2 hours and I’ll feel really awful, and after that it’s over.”

In the papers, there’s a discussion going on whether Purdey’s sexy enough. She’s already overcome all the excitement about it.

She knows exactly what she will and won’t do.

“If a director would ask me to undress and jump into a swimming pool naked, I’d do it. But if he’d ask me to hang my panties on the back of the bed and make love to a man, the answer is NO!”

“I do whatever I want with the people I love. I’m not prepared to share it with 15 million others. “ Let her have the intimacy of a love and don’t bother her with marriage proposals. “It drives me crazy,” Joanna says. “I think I’ll make myself a sticker with ‘I’m never getting married again’ written on it. Perhaps that’ll help.”

With thanks to Philippa for the translation. (Back to articles "About the Show")