Dame Diana Rigg Dies at 82

Legendary actor Dame Diana Rigg has sadly passed away at the age of 82. Famed for her roles in the Avengers, James Bond and, most recently, Game of Thrones, she was diagnosed with cancer in March. Her first break on television screens came when she starred as Emma Peel in Avengers. During her appearance in the 1969 James Bond film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, she played the only woman to marry the spy and become Mrs James Bond. Recently, the legendary actress played the role of Lady Olenna Tyrell, in the hit television drama Game of Thrones. It was revealed that the calculating Lady Olenna eliminated a much-hated character, which won the star actor a new generation of fans.

Born near Doncaster on 20 July 1938, she travelled to India as a toddler, where her father worked as a railway engineer. Upon her return to England, after the Second World War, she was fluent in Hindi. She attended a Yorkshire boarding school until 1955. When she left school she joined the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, where she received tuition from some of the industry’s biggest names. In 1957, at the York Festival, Rigg made her debut in a production of Berolt Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle. Thereafter, the iconic star joined the Royal Shakespeare Company and played a number of roles. She was especially played for her portrayal of Cordelia in a touring production of King Lear.

In 1965, Rigg screen-tested for the role of Emma Peel in Avengers. However, despite initially losing out to

and Elizabeth Shephered, she bagged the iconic role. Wearing a catsuit and featuring in the popular show took Diana Rigg to new heights of fame and notoriety. Shortly after appearing on the Avengers, she followed the footsteps of Honor Blackman, landing her role in the 1969 Bond film. While she was the only woman to become Mrs James Bond, she was shot dead shortly after the wedding!

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