Patrick Joseph McGoohan (March 19, 1928 – January 13, 2009) was an Irish actor, born in the United States, and raised in Ireland and England, with an extensive stage and film career, most notably in the 1960s television series Danger Man (renamed Secret Agent when exported to the US), and The Prisoner. McGoohan wrote and directed several episodes of The Prisoner himself, occasionally using the pseudonyms Joseph Serf and Paddy Fitz. He subsequently appeared in David Cronenberg's Scanners, and in Mel Gibson's Braveheart as Edward Longshanks.
McGoohan was born in Astoria, Queens, New York City, to Thomas McGoohan and Rose Fitzpatrick, who were living in the United States after emigrating from Ireland to look for work. He was raised Roman Catholic. Shortly after he was born, McGoohan's parents moved back to Mullaghmore, County Sligo, Ireland, and, seven years later, they moved to Sheffield, England. McGoohan attended St Vincent's school in Sheffield, but following the outbreak of World War II he was evacuated to Loughborough, Leicestershire. There he attended Ratcliffe College, where he excelled in mathematics and boxing.
McGoohan left school aged sixteen and returned to Sheffield where he worked as a chicken farmer, a bank clerk and a lorry driver before getting a job as a stage manager at Sheffield Repertory Theatre. When one of the actors became ill McGoohan filled in, launching his acting career.