Best known for sustaining the role of Mike Gambit in the hit television spy drama The New Avengers, British actor Gareth Hunt also attained popularity on his home side of the Atlantic as Frederick Norton on the popular weekly BBC drama Upstairs, Downstairs. Born on February 7, 1943, in London, Hunt joined the merchant navy at age 15 and, after a half-decade at sea, returned to England, where he trained with the infamous Royal Shakespeare Company. For at least ten years, Gareth's popularity remained confined to the U.K. theatrical circuit, but he started expanding his horizons in the early '70s with appearances on such British television programs as Bless This House and Doctor Who. Hunt's contributions to Upstairs -- a drama about the lives of servants and masters in a turn-of-the-century London home -- arrived fairly late in the series (he didn't join the cast until the program's final year of 1975) but helped it retain a sizeable audience through the very end of its run.
In 1976, Britain's LWT (or "London Weekend Television," a weekend division of its ITV network) launched The New Avengers, a sequel to the popular '60s spy series The Avengers. Hunt and Joanna Lumley joined original series cast member Patrick Macnee (who reprised his role as John Steed) as a coterie of clandestine English spies who traveled the world outwitting insane, conquer-hungry villains. Hunt's turn as Norton on The New Avengers also represented his first transatlantic success; CBS acquired the rights to this 26-episode series and aired on its CBS Late Movie (as it would with Return of the Saint), alternating between this and reruns of Quincy, M.E. The program ran from November 1978 through the end of 1980.
In his later years, Hunt also appeared on such British series as Castle of Adventure (1990) and Harry and the Wrinklies (2001-2002). He died of pancreatic cancer, at age 65, on March 14, 2007. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi