Hollywood has lost another legend. Dame Diana Rigg (born Enid Diana Elizabeth Rigg), the actress who stole hearts as Emma Peel in the 1960s TV show The Avengers, and later stole scenes on Game of Thrones, has passed away at age 82 after suffering from cancer, her daughter told BBC in a September 10 statement. “My Beloved Ma died peacefully in her sleep early this morning, at home, surrounded by family,” Rachael Stirling said. “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.” Here’s what you should know about the beloved actress:
1. She starred in one of the biggest shows of the 1960s, The Avengers. Not to be confused with the superhero franchise, The Avengers was a popular espionage comedy series from the late ’60s, which starred Patrick Macnee as John Steed. Steed worked opposite a number of female agents throughout the series, including Diana’s Emma Peel — arguably the most famous of the bunch. She was nominated for two Emmy Awards for the role.
2. She played Lady Olenna Tyrell on Game of Thrones. Younger generations probably know Diana best as Lady Olenna Tyrell, the Queen of Thorns and no-nonsense grandmother of Loras and Margaery on Game of Thrones. “I wasn’t aware I was getting involved in something so huge. I really had no idea. She is also pretty evil; I’m good at evil,” she told BBC in 2016. She was nominated for four Emmy Awards while on GoT.
3. She wooed James Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Diana will go down in history as the woman that (almost) tamed James Bond. She played Tracy Di Vicenzo, who marries Bond (George Lazenby) in 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Unfortunately, their happiness is short-lived when Tracy is murdered by villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld.
4. She was a Tony-winning and nominated Broadway star. When she wasn’t onscreen, Diana was working onstage in numerous Broadway shows. She was nominated for four Tony Awards throughout her career, and took home Lead Actress — Play in 1994 for “Medea”.
5. She acted in the Royal Shakespeare Company. Diana was a member of the legendary Royal Shakespeare Company in England, from 1959 to 1964. Starring in productions of plays like “Othello” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” she was in the company of other heavy-hitters like Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, and Judi Dench.