Diana Rigg

Diana Rigg

Birth
Doncaster, Metropolitan Borough of Doncaster, South Yorkshire, England
Death 10 Sep 2020 (aged 82)
London, City of London, Greater London, England
Burial Burial Details Unknown
Memorial ID 215428095 · View Source
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Actress. She trained as an actress at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. She made her professional debut in a production of Bertolt Brecht's The Caucasian Chalk Circle as part of the 1957 York Festival. After that, she joined the Royal Shakespeare Company, where she played a number of roles, receiving much praise for her portrayal of Cordelia in a touring production of King Lear. In 1965, she screen-tested for the part of John Steed's female companion in the TV series The Avengers after the departure of Honor Blackman to play Pussy Galore in Goldfinger. She won admirers with her high-kicking, action-loving character Emma Peel in The Avengers and playing that role brought her international fame. The surreal psychedelia of The Avengers made it as much a symbol of the 1960s as the Beatles. Her character became an icon for the growing feminist movement and her action-girl allure, coupled with her husky voice also brought her many of admirers. She also showed she was capable of taking on the establishment. During the first series, she discovered she was earning less than the cameramen and insisted on more money before making another episode. She found the sudden fame as a TV star difficult to cope with. It was partly her resentment at the invasion of her privacy that persuaded her that she would spend only two years with The Avengers. She also wanted She moved from The Avengers to work on a James Bond movie. She became the only Bond girl to get the secret agent to the altar, although the marriage was abruptly cut short when her character was shot dead soon after the wedding. She starred as Vincent Price's daughter in the camp horror film, Theatre of Blood, but soon returned to the stage and was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance in Abelard and Heloise. She also played Queen Henrietta Maria opposite Rufus Sewell in the BBC's Charles II: The Power and the Passion. She took a number of leading roles with the National Theatre Company at the Old Vic and gained a second Tony nomination for her performance as Celimene in The Misanthrope. In 1990, she won a Bafta for the role of an obsessive mother in the BBC drama Mother Love. Four years later she won a Tony for best actress in one of her most acclaimed roles, that of Medea. In the same year, Rigg was created a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. She went on to appear in a number of TV costume dramas, winning an Emmy for her role as Mrs. Danvers in a Carlton TV production of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca. Her work in the theatre continued, including well-received performances in The Cherry Orchard, Pygmalion and Tennessee Williams' Suddenly Last Summer. In 2013, she appeared in a Doctor Who episode, The Crimson Horror, which was specially written for her by Mark Gatiss. Her role as the evil Mrs. Gillyflower was played alongside her daughter, Rachael Stirling. She was also required to use her native Yorkshire accent. She joined a long list of distinguished British actors who appeared in the HBO fantasy epic Game of Thrones, gaining an Emmy nomination. And she continued working until shortly before her death, appearing in the new remake of All Creatures Great And Small. She was nominated for an Emmy for her role in Game of Thrones as Lady Olena, a character who made bluntness an artform. Although it was the role of Emma Peel that brought her to public attention, she was successful in casting off the character and carving out a distinguished career as a classical actress.

Bio by: Glendora


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Lauren A. Hubberman Cohen
  • Added: 10 Sep 2020
  • Find a Grave Memorial 215428095
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Diana Rigg (20 Jul 1938–10 Sep 2020), Find a Grave Memorial no. 215428095, ; Maintained by Find A Grave Burial Details Unknown.