Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Go get 'em, Gareth

Gareth Hunt as Mike GambitWhen I grew up I always wanted to be like Gambit. No, not the pink-garbed mutant, but action man Mike Gambit: smooth, suave ladies man, rough-and-tumble ex-paramilitary fighter with a saucy quip and a devilish smile, dressed in the most stylish of clothes but never afraid to get down and dirty: the very epitome of a British ladykiller in the 1970s and beyond: a man who would buy you a pint in the pub and then bed the barmaid.

Most of that was due to the uncanny and pitch-perfect portrayal of Mike Gambit by British star Gareth Hunt. Hunt has appeared in many other TV shows from Upstairs, Downstairs and Space: 1999 to Doctor Who and even a role in a film starring Pet Shop Boys. But it was as Gambit in The New Avengers that I first "met" Mister Hunt, and though John Steed had not had a male partner in nearly fifteen years, Hunt fell easily and comfortably into the role, and the clever, joking, but utterly devoted camraderie between him and Patrick Macnee and Joanna Lumley as they battle Nazis, walking plagues, giant rats, intelligent killer buildings and Cybermen, is what makes the show memorable. It was at times a cheesy show that hasn't dated as well as the 1960s Avengers, but I luvs The New Avengers to pieces and was tremendously chuffed when it finally recently came to DVD so I could love it all over again.

Gareth Hunt died today at the age of 65 from pancreatic cancer. I picture him kicking down the door to heaven, brandishing one of his many guns and securing the place. Ten minutes later, he will likely be in bed with Marilyn Monroe or Hedy Lamarr.

You'll be missed, Gareth. Go give 'em hell. You always did.

Gareth Hunt


Steve Flanagan said...

Sadly, Gareth Hunt destroyed what little credibility he had in the UK with a coffee commercial. He was supposed to be shaking a fist full of beans, but it looked like he was making another gesture entirely.

The rhyming slang didn't help, either.

Still, a great shame that he got so few years on this Earth.

rob! said...

>>Ten minutes later, he will likely be in bed with Marilyn Monroe or Hedy Lamarr.<<

that made me laugh long and loud.

nice tribute.