- Diana Rigg died six months after she was diagnosed with cancer
- He died “in peace” Thursday morning, his agent said.
- “I will miss her beyond words,” said her daughter Rachael Stirling.
Stars of the stage and screen on Thursday paid tribute to Diana Rigg, the award-winning British actress who rose to fame on the 1960s television series. The Avengers and gained new fans in game of Thrones, after his death at the age of 82. Diana Rigg, who won Emmy, Tony and Bafta Awards during her long career on both sides of the Atlantic, died six months after she was diagnosed with cancer. Simon Beresford, his agent, said in a statement that he had died “in peace” early Thursday morning at his home with his family, who had asked for privacy.
“Dame Diana was a much loved and admired member of her profession, a force of nature who loved her work and her fellow actors,” he added. “We are going to miss her very much.” Diana Rigg’s daughter, actress Rachael Stirling, said her mother “spent her final months reflecting with joy on her extraordinary life, filled with love, laughter and deep pride in her profession. I will miss her beyond words.” added.
He worked at the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) after his classical training at the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in Great Britain. But it was like Emma Peel in catsuit for John Steed in Patrick Macnee’s bowler hat in the swashbuckling television spy series. The Avengers which became a household name. Some saw the high-scoring action role as a symbol of the newly discovered power of women in the heyday of the 1960s, earning her an international profile and a legion of fans.
For Diana Rigg it was a catapult to success, as she became one of Britain’s leading actresses, many of them displaying the same intelligence and steel as Mrs. Peel. “Diana Rigg’s combination of strength of personality, beauty, courage and sheer emotional power made her a great classical actress, one of an astonishing generation of British performing artists,” said theater and opera director Jonathan Kent. “Her dazzling wit and inimitable voice made her an unforgettable leading figure in British theater.”
A smile for all
In an early role, she played famous James Bond wife Tracy in the 1969 film starring George Lazenby, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Bond franchise producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli praised Rigg’s performance as the only woman to bring the fictional super spy down the aisle.
“The legendary stage and screen actress … was loved by Bond fans for her memorable portrayal of Tracy di Vicenzo in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the only woman ever to have married James Bond, “they said. In the later stages of her career, Diana Rigg won legions of younger fans and critical acclaim for her role as Olenna Tyrell in the hugely popular game of Thrones Serie.
Other film roles included the 1994 comedy-drama. A good man in africa, adapted from a novel by William Boyd, and the 2017 biographical drama Breathe, directed by Andy Serkis. “For half her life, Diana was the most beautiful woman in the room, but she was what they used to call Trouper,” said playwright and screenwriter Tom Stoppard, who called her talent “luminous.” He went to work with his sleeves rolled up and a smile for everyone, “he added.
Diana Rigg, however, will be best remembered as one of the greats of British theater. She won the Tony Award for Best Actress in 1994 after playing the title role in the Greek tragedy. Medea in London and New York, and also won an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress for the 1997 miniseries Rebecca. Also veteran playwright David Hare said she had “a dazzling turnaround in middle age as a great classical actress. She swept everything in front of her,” he added of several of her standout performances.
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