Dame Diana Rigg, star of stage and screen, dies aged 82

In a career that spanned over seven decades Dame Diana Rigg played more than a few iconic roles. From Emma Peel in the TV show The Avenders, to roles with the Royal Shakespeare Company, starring roles opposite The Muppets, Bond girl, and a memorable performance as the ‘Queen of Thorns’ Olenna Tyrell in Game of Thrones, her career was filled with many different parts.

The actor passed aged 82, her daughter Rachel Sterling announced she had been diagnosed with cancer earlier this year and spent the last few months celebrating her life, before passing away peacefully in her sleep.

Diana Rigg had worked continuously over the decades and will appear posthumously in a new television series of All Creatures Great and Small playing Mrs Pumphrey, and will also appear in the upcoming film Last Night in Soho alongside Matt Smith and Terrance Stamp.

Her professional debut was in the play The Caucasian Chalk Circle in 1957. She joined popular TV show The Avengers during its fourth series in 1965. Rigg later spoke about the gender pay inequality that existed on the show, during his first season she was paid less than the cameramen shooting the program. She left the series in 1967.

In 1969 she joined the James Bond franchise appearing opposite George Lazenby in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. She is the only Bond girl who got to wed Bond in the film series.

Another memorable role was as Lady Holiday in The Great Muppet Caper (1981) which saw the esteemed actress hold her own against the manic performances of Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy and Fozzie bear.  More recently she appeared in TV shows including Extras, Doctor Who, Victoria and an iconic part in Game of Thrones. 

Over her long career Rigg was honoured many times winning a BAFTA, a Tony for Best Actress for Medea, and an Emmy Award. She was given a CBE in 1988 and in 1994 was promoted to be a Dame.

OIP Staff

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