Without equal, Patrick McGoohan was THE thinking-man's tough guy. On screens big and small (DANGER MAN, ICE STATION ZEBRA, THE HARD WAY, etc), he behaved with intelligence and efficiency, and all his actions aimed towards completing his objective, never demonstrating his toughness. Even when he unleashed his Irish bark on the eardrums of conversational opponents, it was always for a necessary emphasis or effect, and he was back to his normal speaking voice as quickly as he started shouting (and he certainly never wore a smug "did you see how badly I verbally spanked you?" expression on his face after besting his arguin' adversaries).
And yet he was tough, and we knew this because (and/or despite the fact that) he had the confidence never to need to make grand displays of his formidability. In fact, McGoohan's characters would even endure predicaments while smirking ever-so-slightly, as pictured here, as if to make us sure he was not trying to act ostentatiously tough.
Anyway, enough with my new thoughts, and on with some old: Here are a few pieces I penned in the last couple years regarding the actor and his work: