She Was the Only Bond Girl to Get Him to the Altar

Award-winning actress Diana Rigg, also known for 'Avengers,' 'Game of Thrones' roles, dead at 82
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 10, 2020 11:10 AM CDT
She Went From Bond Girl to Game of Thrones
Diana Rigg arrives at the Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York on June 10, 2018.   (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

Dame Diana Rigg, a Tony and Emmy award winner, has died at age 82. She's perhaps best known of late for her turn as Lady Olenna Tyrell in Game of Thrones. But the British actress enjoyed a decades-spanning career in theater, film, and television, following her breakout role as spy Emma Peel in the TV series The Avengers—"as much a symbol of the Swinging '60s as the Mini and the Beatles," per the BBC. The character—sexy, quick-witted, confident, and athletic—became a feminist icon. At one point, Rigg learned she was earning less than the show's cameramen and refused to make any more episodes unless she was paid more money. She later appeared in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) as "the only Bond girl to get 007 to the altar," the BBC reports.

The actress also made a splash on the stage. She trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art before joining the Royal Shakespeare Company from 1959 to 1964. She received two Tony nominations before her eventual win in 1994 for best actress in a play, Medea. She also won a 1990 BAFTA award for best actress for her role as Helena Vesey in the BBC drama Mother Love, as well as an Emmy for her turn as Mrs. Danvers in the 1997 miniseries Rebecca. Her role in Game of Thrones, bringing with it several Emmy nominations, was a "fitting career capper," per Variety. Known to smoke up to 20 cigarettes a day, Rigg died Thursday at her home in England. Agent Lionel Larner will remember her as "a beautiful, kind, and generous human being that enhanced the lives of all that knew her." (More obituary stories.)

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