Dame Diana Rigg, the veteran actress that captured the hearts of both old and new generations throughout a 63-year-long career, has passed away on September 10, 2020.
The actress was diagnosed with cancer this past March, according to her daughter, actress Rachael Stirling. She passed on peacefully and at her home, surrounded by family.
Rigg “spent her last months joyfully reflecting on her extraordinary life," added Stirling in a statement. She also said her mother was filled with pride in her profession and was a woman "full of love and laughter."
Dame Diana Rigg at the 2nd Canneseries - International Series Festival on April 06, 2019 | Photo: Getty Images
Rigg, who started her acting career in 1957, had an extensive catalog with roles both in theater and film. Some of her most popular roles include that of Emma Peel in the 60s TV series “The Avengers,” and Tracy Draco, in “On Her Majesty's Secret Service,” a James Bond film.
The lauded star, who was named Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1994 by Queen Elizabeth II, was the only actress to play the part of a Bond girl who was actually married to the action figure character.
In the last decade, Rigg made an impression on a younger generation with her role as Lady Olenna Tyrell, the head of the Tyrell House in HBO’s mega-hit series “Game of Thrones.” She received three Emmy Awards nominations for the role.
Rigg was born in Doncaster in 1938 and studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts before joining the Royal Shakespeare Company.
She received her first Tony Award nominations for her role in the play “Abelard and Heloïse,” and repeated the same feat a few years later with “The Misanthrope.”
Some of her other relevant works include “Madea,” “Snow White,” “The Hospital,” “Diana,” “King Lear,” “Mother Love,” “Doctor Who,” and the upcoming series “Black Narcissus,” which will be aired as her posthumous work.
Rigg was married twice, first to Menachem Gueffen, a painter, from 1973 to 1976, and later to Archibald Stirling, from 1982 to 1990. She’s survived by her daughter, Rachael Stirling, and her grandchild.