Doncaster born Avengers and Game of Thrones actress Dame Diana Rigg dies at 82

Doncaster born actress Dame Diana Rigg has died at the age of 82.

Thursday, 10th September 2020, 3:31 pm
Doncaster born actress Dame Diana Rigg.
Doncaster born actress Dame Diana Rigg.

Dame Diana, famous for roles including Emma Peel in TV series The Avengers and Olenna Tyrell in Game of Thrones, died earlier today.

"She died peacefully early this morning. She was at home with her family who have asked for privacy at this difficult time," her agent said.

Dame Diana is also known for playing Tracy, the only woman who became Mrs James Bond, in 1969 film On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

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She played the Duchess of Buccleuch in ITV royal drama Victoria and can currently be seen playing Mrs Pumphrey in Channel 5's new adaptation of All Creatures Great and Small.

Her daughter, actress Rachael Stirling, said: "My Beloved Ma died peacefully in her sleep early this morning, at home, surrounded by family.

"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."

Sir Tom Stoppard added: "For half her life Diana was the most beautiful woman in the room, but she was what used to be called a Trouper. She went to work with her sleeves rolled up and a smile for everyone. Her talent was luminous."

Last year, Dame Diana spoke of her delight at her role in Game of Thrones, telling the BBC: "I love playing bad [characters]. They are so much more interesting than good.

"There are some actors who don't like to play bad; they like to be liked. I love to be disliked. Olenna had the best lines."

In 1990, Dame Diana won a best actress Bafta TV award for playing a difficult mother-in-law in Mother Love. She also won a Bafta special award in 2000 for The Avengers, shared with the series' other stars Honor Blackman, Joanna Lumley and Linda Thorson.

Dame Diana was also nominated for nine primetime Emmy awards, winning for her role as Mrs Danvers in Rebecca in 1997.

Rigg was born in Doncaster in 1938 but spent her childhood growing up in India.

During the 1970s, The Avengers star booted late rock star David Bowie out of her London home at the height of his fame - for making too much noise.

The star lived in the actress's Maida Vale flat for six months in 1973.

Forced to leave Beckenham by fans making pilgrimages to his front door, the star moved into Bond actress Rigg’s flat in Vale Court with his then wife, Angie, and their son.