Ms. Rigg also played many classic roles onstage in both New York and London and, late in her career, found new fans on “Game of Thrones.”
September 10, 2020
Diana Rigg, the British actress who enthralled London and New York theater audiences with her performances in classic roles for more than a half-century but remained best known as the quintessential new woman of the 1960s — sexy, confident, witty and karate-adept — on the television series “The Avengers,” died on Thursday at her home in London. She was 82.
Her daughter, Rachael Stirling, said in a statement that the cause was cancer.
Ms. Rigg had late-career success in a recurring role, from 2013 to 2016, as the outspoken and demanding Lady Olenna Tyrell on HBO’s acclaimed series “Game of Thrones.” “I wonder if you’re the worst person I ever met,” Lady Olenna once said to her nemesis Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey). “At a certain age, it’s hard to recall.”
But Ms. Rigg’s first and biggest taste of stardom came in 1965, when, as a 26-year-old veteran of the Royal Shakespeare Company, she was cast on the fourth season of ITV’s “The Avengers.” As Emma Peel, she was the stylish new crime-fighting partner of the dapper intelligence agent John Steed (Patrick Macnee), replacing Honor Blackman, who had left to star in the James Bond film “Goldfinger.” (Ms. Blackman died in April.)
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Not sure what the allure was. I thought the show was silly and over rated. Sometimes it was just plain stupid.
The show was intriguing . Her role was way ahead of the womens lib movement. May she RIP and condolences to her family
Chris Plante, a listening essential on WMAL mornings, said “watching her in the ‘60s determined to me that I was a heterosexual.” ?