Sad news today out of Britain as Dame Diana Rigg, known for notable roles such as Emma Peel in the original TV series of The Avengers and more recently playing Lady Olenna Tyrell in Game of Thrones, has passed away at the age of 82.
Diana Rigg Remembered
The news of the legendary actress’s death, reported by BBC news, was provided by her agent.
“She died peacefully early this morning,” her agent said. “She was at home with her family who have asked for privacy at this difficult time.”
The British star has entertained on the stage and screen for decades. She first rose to fame in 1961 in The Avengers, and went on to star in the 1979 BBC hit All Creatures Great and Small. And her memorable GOT role cemented her legacy on television.
She won a BAFTA for the BBC miniseries Mother Love and took home an Emmy for her role as Mrs. Danvers in a television adaptation of Rebecca. She also appeared on Dr. Who.
In the movies, Rigg is noteworthy for playing Countess Teresa di Vicenzo in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, becoming the only woman to marry James Bond onscreen. The versatile actress also starred in Julius Caesar, The Great Muppet Caper, and Snow White.
The actress made her professional stage debut in 1957 in The Caucasian Chalk Circle and joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1959. She also had quite the career on Broadway, picking up a Tony win for Medea in 1994 and most recently wowing critics as Mrs. Higgins in the 2018 revival of My Fair Lady at Lincoln Center Theater.
Rigg was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1988 and a Dame in 1994. A host of tributes have popped up on Twitter from fans, former costars, and those who admired her career. Actress Dana Delany Tweeted a photo of Rigg from her Avengers days, talking about what a role model she has always been.
“For a girl in the 1960’s, Diana Rigg was the embodiment of power and allure,” Delany wrote. “To see her on stage in Medea 30 years later was sheer terror. And the icing was Game of Thrones. She outplayed them all. A great grand actor.”
For a girl in the 1960’s, Diana Rigg was the embodiment of power and allure. To see her on stage in Medea 30 years later was sheer terror. And the icing was Game of Thrones. She outplayed them all. A great grand actor. 🖤 pic.twitter.com/9XjCQh1qmi
— Dana Delany (@DanaDelany) September 10, 2020