LONDON: British actress Diana Rigg who enjoyed a distinguished and varied career on stage and screen from ‘James Bond’ to ‘Game of Thrones’ has died aged 82.
Rigg won numerous Emmy, Tony and Bafta awards during her long and prestigious career, equally at home in classical theatre roles as those in popular TV shows.
“My Beloved Ma died peacefully in her sleep early this morning, at home, surrounded by family,” her actress daughter Rachael Stirling said in a statement.
“She died of cancer diagnosed in March, and spent her last months joyfully reflecting on her extraordinary life, full of love, laughter and a deep pride in her profession. I will miss her beyond words.”
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Rigg was born in Doncaster in northern England and moved with her family to India before going to school in England. She studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art before making her debut at the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1959.
It was her role as the secret agent Emma Peel in the cult 1960s TV show ‘The Avengers’ alongside Patrick McNee that brought her to wide attention. She went on to star in the James Bond film “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” in which her character marries the British spy.
A return to the theatre resulted in a string of hits in the 1970s and 80s, and she was acclaimed for her role as Medea in the early 1990s for which she won a Tony.
She is best known for playing Olenna Tyrell in the fantasy series ‘Game of Thrones’. The official Twitter account of the series followed by over eight million people also posted a message which read, “Be a dragon. The realm will always remember Diana Rigg.”