Diana Rigg, the Emmy- and Tony-winning brothers actress that vaulted to global fame in the 1960s through her performance together the seductive spy Emma Peel on "The Avengers," then acquired a brand-new following years later as the cunning Lady Olenna Tyrell ~ above "Game that Thrones," has died. She was 82.

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Diana Rigg, the Emmy- and also Tony-winning brother actress who vaulted to global fame in the 1960s v her performance as the seductive spy Emma Peel onThe Avengers, then got a brand-new following years later as the cunning Lady Olenna Tyrell onGame of Thrones, passed away Thursday. She was 82.

Rigg to be diagnosed v cancer in March, according to her daughter Rachael Stirling, who said she had actually “spent she last month joyfully showing on her extraordinary life, full of love, laughter and also a deep proud in she profession. I will miss out on her beyond words.”


“It is with tremendous sore that we announce that Dame Diana Rigg passed away peacefully beforehand this morning. She to be at residence with her family members who have asked for privacy at this an overwhelming time,” added her agent Simon Beresford. “Dame Diana to be an icon of theatre, film, and also television. She to be the recipient of BAFTA, Emmy, Tony and Evening typical Awards for her work-related on stage and also screen. Dame Diana to be a lot loved and admired member of she profession, a pressure of nature that loved her work and her other actors. She will be considerably missed.”

Rigg also played the ill-fated link girl Tracy di Vicenzo opposite 007 actor George Lazenby inOn she Majesty’s an enig Service(1969).

As the 3rd of four female sidekicks to Patrick Macnee’s dapper john Steed top top ITV’sThe Avengers, Rigg’s Peel ended up being an symbol in England and also the U.S. The show centered on the duo — Steed through a bowler hat and also umbrella, Peel in cutting-edge mode fashions — functioning as partners because that a mystery British intelligence firm in one over-the-top, sometimes surrealist England.

“She was ahead of she time,” Rigg claimed at a 50-year anniversary tribute to her character held by the British film Institute. “Quite through accident she became this avant-garde woman, and also dear God, was ns lucky to obtain the chance to play this woman. For years afterward, people came approximately me and said, ‘You to be my heroine’ — no me, Emma — ‘and encouraged me to carry out this and that.’ without overembellishing her influence, I carry out think she to be a very, an extremely potent affect in women claiming their location in this world.”

At the elevation of her popularity, Rigg was voted “sexiest-ever TV star” byTV Guide, though she never embraced that. “I have to be honest, the discomfited me due to the fact that I never saw myself together sexy,” she said the BBC in 2011. “I didn’t check out it as a feminist issue, I experienced it as, if friend like, perhaps I fell quick in that element because i couldn’t deliver. I did the sexy photographs since it to be asked the me, however I never ever did the ‘sexy’ in person.”


She play Peel because that 51 illustration from 1965-68, earning two Emmy nominations, then returned to her root in the theater for a time. She mutual a BAFTA distinct award forThe Avengerswith her counterparts respect Blackman (Cathy Gale), Linda Thorson (Tara King) and also Joanna Lumley (Purdey onThe brand-new Avengers) in 2011.

Rigg had one more chance to work-related in a zeitgeist-defining collection when she joined HBO’sGame that Thronesin 2013 together Lady Olenna, the “Queen that Thorns” well-known for she mastery of royal residence intrigue. She to be nominated for four Emmys because that her work on the show.

“She’s very forceful,” Rigg toldThe Hollywood Reporterof her character. “She doesn’t mince she words, she’s witty, which is always fun come play. She doesn’t think too highly of — males in general, in fact. She thinks the world would be far better if the were run by women.”


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Rigg won she Tony in 1994 for playing the title role inMedea, and she to be nominated three various other times: forAbelard and HeloiseandThe Misanthropein 1971 and ’75, respectively, and also for her revolve as Mrs. Higgins in a 2018 Broadway rebirth ofMy same Lady.

In 1997, she obtained her lone Emmy for illustrating the antagonistic head housekeeper Mrs. Danvers in a PBS adaptation the Daphne du Maurier’sRebecca.

Enid Diana Elizabeth Rigg to be born on July 20, 1938, in Doncaster, England. Her family lived in Jodhpur, India, wherein her father served as a manager of the state railroad. She invested her childhood in India until she was 8, as soon as she was sent to boarding college in England.

“India gave me a glorious start to life,” Rigg claimed in a 2004 biography created by kathleen Tracy. “It provided me an independence of spirit.” but the change to dreary England was difficult: “The institution didn’t mean to be cruel, but it was. I felt favor a fish the end of water. Ns knew nobody. I began from scratch. … with an experience prefer that, her life changes. You are never reliant on her parents again.”

After a couple of years, Rigg’s parents followed her ago to England and transferred she to a various school. It was there the a teacher, Sylvia Greenwood, “realized i loved literature and words and saw the I might speak and — well, act! not just urged me, she cheered me on, lugged me out. I began to live.”

Rigg studied at the royal Academy the Dramatic Art and also made made her experienced debut in 1957 in new York with a performance inThe Caucasian Chalk Circle. She additionally played in repertory carriers while functioning as a model.

Rigg was embraced as one understudy by the imperial Shakespeare company in 1959 and also soon signed a five-year contract. She left in 1964 forThe Avengers, which to be also around to waiting — in color! — in the U.S. Top top ABC. It was her first commercial TV work, and also she had actually never viewed the show.

She effectively took over because that Blackman, who had left to take the function of Pussy Galore in the 1964 James bond filmGoldfinger. (Julie Stevens had played Sneed’s partner Venus blacksmith for 6 episodes in 1962-63 before Rigg debuted as Emma Peel, a beat on “M-Appeal,” a marketing ax that expected “men appeal.”)


“She was just so exceptional,” Macnee recalled in 2005. “She lighted on us like a butterfly top top a flower.”

“I was an extremely lucky, and also also very ignorant, due to the fact that I had actually absolutely no idea once I gotThe Avengerswhat an affect it would have on my life,” she said in 2011. “I hadn’t seen lot television. As soon as I took the job, it to be a leap in the dark.” despite she to be criticized by colleagues at the imperial Shakespeare company for the decision, she added, the turned the end wonderfully.

After two full seasons, Rigg exitedThe Avengers— partly since of the demanding manufacturing schedule, partly to pursue various other projects, she said. “The first thing ns did once I stopped doingThe Avengerswas come go earlier to the royal Shakespeare and say, ‘Thank you. Currently I can sell tickets,’ which ns couldn’t before. And it was my way of acknowledging where I had been nurtured,” she said.

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Shortly after ~ leaving, she starred together Helena in a film version ofA Midsummer Night’s Dream(1968) together Helen Mirren as Hermia, Ian Holm together Puck, Judi Dench together Titania and a number of other royal Shakespeare agency players.

She landed her an initial U.S. Movie duty in the comedyThe Assassination Bureau(1969), based on an unfinished Jack London novel set in Edwardian England, and also turned heads as James Bond’s beguiling mam inOn her Majesty’s secret Service(1969).

The 007 movie “was for this reason profligate — money to be no object,” she said People newspaper in 2017. “There was a 10-second little bit where i looked in ~ my watch. And also they sent out for a watchmaker come arrive with a situation full the watches. I just chose one, and they gave it come me. I also had a vast beautiful fox hair coat that i wore in the film, and also they offered it come me! i loved it.”

Rigg was nominated because that a golden Globe for finest supporting actress for she performance as a nurse in Paddy Chayefsky’s acerbic film comedyThe Hospital(1971). She climate starred together a department keep fashion coordinator that moves to new York after she divorce ~ above the short-lived 1973-74 NBC sitcomDiana, modeled afterThe mar Tyler Moore Show.

Her other notable projects contained the 1975 CBS telefilmIn This residence of Brede, in i m sorry she played a businesswoman who becomes a cloistered Benedictine nun, in an additional Emmy-nominated turn;The good Muppet Caper(1991), in which she play the victim the a jewel heist; the 1985 Masterpiece Theatre miniseriesBleak House, in which she starred together Lady Honoria Dedlock; PBS’Masterpiece Mystery!, which she organized from 1989-2004, taking over indigenous Vincent Price; and the BBC’sThe Mrs. Bradley Mysteries, in i m sorry she play amateur detective Adela Bradley from 1998-2000.

In 1983 she wroteNo turn Unstoned, a compendium of disastrous critics’ reviews from actors, directors and playwrights, influenced by a savage slam the her stage performance inAbelard and Heloise.

In 1994, she to be made a Dame command of the bespeak of the British empire for she contributions to film and also theater, andfrom 1998-2008 offered as chancellor that the university of Stirling in Scotland.


Rigg to be married in the 1970s to Israeli artist Menachem Gueffen and later to theater producer Archie Stirling, through whom she had a daughter, Rachael. Both marriages finished in divorce.

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Rachael Stirling also became an actress (Snow White and the Huntsman), and also Rigg play her mother on a 2005 episode ofDoctor Whoand again indigenous 2015-17 on 6 episodes the Acorn’sDetectorists.

“We simply kept laughing,” Rigg claimed of performing v her daughter. “I do have to say, people get serious about the job. And itisserious, it’s very, an extremely serious due to the fact that it’s a communion between you, the audience, and us, the actors — however at the exact same time one of my real demands is to have actually fun and also to laugh and also to enjoy it.”