Dame Diana Rigg, who found fame on “The Avengers” and went on to play James Bond’s wife in “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” died on Thursday at the age of 82.
Rigg’s death was confirmed by her agent Simon Beresford, who said she died on Thursday morning at her home with her family.
“It is with tremendous sadness that we announce that Dame Diana Rigg died peacefully early this morning. She was at home with her family who have asked for privacy at this difficult time. Dame Diana was an icon of theatre, film, and television,” Beresford told Fox News.
“She was the recipient of BAFTA, Emmy, Tony and Evening Standard Awards for her work on stage and screen,” he added. “Dame Diana was a much loved and admired member of her profession, a force of nature who loved her work and her fellow actors. She will be greatly missed.”
"We are very sad to hear of the passing of Dame Diana Rigg, the legendary stage and screen actress who was much beloved by Bond fans for her memorable performance as Tracy di Vicenzo in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the only woman to have married James Bond." pic.twitter.com/nqQCSg35oM
— James Bond (@007) September 10, 2020
Rachael Stirling, Rigg’s daughter, said that the actress died of cancer that was diagnosed back in March.
“My Beloved Ma died peacefully in her sleep early this morning, at home, surrounded by family,” 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.”
Born in 1938 in the United Kingdom, Rigg grew up in India before returning to Britain to attend boarding school. She went on to enroll in the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1955, launching her decades-long successful acting career.
Rigg became a household name around the world when she portrayed Emma Peel on the 1960s television show “The Avengers,” a program that is still beloved to this day. In 1969, Rigg’s fame intensified when played the ill-fated wife of James Bond in the movie On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
In recent years, Rigg is undoubtedly best known for playing Lady Olenna, the no-nonsense matriarch of House Tyrell in HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”
Be a dragon.
The realm will always remember Diana Rigg.
— Game of Thrones (@GameOfThrones) September 10, 2020
Last year, Rigg talked to BBC about how much she loved working on “Game of Thrones.”
“I love playing bad [characters]. They are so much more interesting than good,” she said. “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.”
Rigg never lost her love for acting, and always made sure to have fun with her work.
“I do have to say, people get serious about the job,” she once said. “And it is serious, it’s very, very serious because it’s a communion between you, the audience, and us, the actors — but at the same time one of my real needs is to have fun and to laugh and to enjoy it.”