The actor Diana Rigg has died at the age of 82. Rigg was known for her roles on stage and in film and television, including The Avengers and Countess Teresa di Vicenzo, or Tracey Bond, wife of James Bond in the 1969 film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
Rigg rose to prominence in the 1960s thanks to her starring role as Emma Peel in The Avengers alongside Patrick Macnee. More recently she played Lady Olenna Tyrell in HBO’s smash hit Game of Thrones, although she admitted in 2019 that she never watched the show.
A statement from her agent Simon Beresford said: “It is with tremendous sadness that we announce that Dame Diana Rigg died peacefully early this morning.
“She was at home with her family who have asked for privacy at this difficult time. Dame Diana was an icon of theatre, film, and television.
“She was the recipient of Bafta, Emmy, Tony and Evening Standard Awards for her work on stage and screen.
“Dame Diana was a much loved and admired member of her profession, a force of nature who loved her work and her fellow actors. She will be greatly missed.”
Playwright and screenwriters David Hare and Tom Stoppard paid tribute to Rigg. Hare said “Diana Rigg had a dazzling change of direction in middle age as a great classical actor. When Emma Peel played Euripides’s Medea, Albee’s Martha and Brecht’s Mother Courage she swept all before her”. Stoppard said Rigg’s talent “luminous”. “For half her life Diana was the most beautiful woman in the room, but she was what used to be called a trooper. She went to work with her sleeves rolled up and a smile for everyone. Her talent was luminous”.
– Guardian, PA
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