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British actress Diana Rigg dies aged 82
[LONDON] British actress Diana Rigg, who came to fame in the cult 1960s TV show The Avengers and recently appeared in Game of Thrones, has died aged 82 the BBC reported on Thursday.
Rigg, who had a long career in theatre as well as appearing in the James Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service where her character marries the British spy, died peacefully at home with her family.
Rigg’s daughter Rachael Stirling said her mother had been diagnosed with cancer 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,” she added.
Rigg – who as Emma Peel alongside Patrick Macnee’s John Steed in The Avengers became a 1960s icon – won Emmy, Tony and Bafta awards during her lengthy stage and screen career. She was classically trained at Britain’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. In the later stages of her career, she won legions of younger fans and critical praise for her part as Olenna Tyrell in the hugely popular Game of Thrones series.
“For half her life Diana was the most beautiful woman in the room, but she was what used to be called a Trouper,” said playwright and screenwriter Tom Stoppard, who called her talent “luminous”. “She went to work with her sleeves rolled up and a smile for everyone”.
Fellow veteran playwright David Hare said she had “a dazzling change of direction in middle age as a great classical actor.”