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"Why do you persist in rescuing me, Mr. Bond?"

- as Tracy from from On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)

Diana Rigg was forced to turn down the role of Elizabeth in Paint Your Wagon (1969) with Clint Eastwood and Lee Marvin, due to illness. Jean Seberg replaced her.

Diana Rigg, DBE (born July 20th 1938) is an English actress and is best known for the role of Emma Peel in the TV series The Avengers, which she appeared in from 1965 to 1968 (pitured below with co-star Patrick Macnee).

Rigg has also had an extensive career in the theatre both in Britain and America and became an Associate Artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1967 and was the first as such to join the National Theatre of Great Britain (1971). Rigg was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1988 and a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in 1994.

Born in Yorkshire, the daughter of a railroad engineer, she moved with her family to India at the age of two months and lived there until she was 8 (she learned to speak Hindi). Rigg made her professional stage debut in 1957 in The Caucasian Chalk Circle and joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1959.

Rigg was the first major actor (along with co-star Keith Michell) to appear nude on stage in the production of "Abelard and Heloise" in 1970. In 1971, she made her Broadway debut in Abelard & Heloise and received Tony Award nominations as Best Actress (Dramatic) for "Abelard and Heloise" (1972) and again for "The Misanthrope" (1975).

A savage review from John Simon for her performance in "Abelard and Heloise" led her to collect devastating theatrical reviews throughout history. The result was her book, "No Turn Unstoned", published in 1982.

Rigg starred in the 1989 BBC miniseries Mother Love, for which she won a BAFTA Award for Best Actress and the 1997 adaptation of Rebecca, which won her an Emmy Award. She had also ventured into American sitcom TV with the short lived series Diana, during the 1973-1974 television season. It was NBC's answer to The Mary Tyler Moore Show but was cancelled after 15 episodes.

Rigg played Medea in 1992 at the Almeida and Wyndham's in London and again in New York, where she won the 1994 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play. She was also awarded the 1992 London Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Actress for her performance in "Medea".

She was awarded the 1996 London Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Actress for her performances in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" and "Mother Courage". her performances have led critics to proclaim her one of the greatest actresses on the British stage.

Her film roles include, Helena, in A Midsummer Night's Dream (1968), Countess Teresa di Vicenzo in the James Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service (above 1969), Lady Holiday in The Great Muppet Caper (1981) and Arlene Marshall in Evil Under the Sun (1982).

Rigg also appeared in the second series of Ricky Gervais's hit comedy Extras, alongside Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe, and in the 2006 film The Painted Veil.

In 2013 Rigg appeared in an episode of Doctor Who in a Victorian-era based story called The Crimson Horror alongside her daughter Rachael Stirling (below), 11th Doctor Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman. The episode had been specially written for her and her daughter by Mark Gatiss.

In 2013, Rigg secured a recurring role in the third season of the HBO series Game of Thrones, portraying Lady Olenna Tyrell, a witty and sarcastic political mastermind known as the Queen of Thorns, the grandmother of regular character Margaery Tyrell. Her performance was well received by critics and audiences alike, and earned her an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards. She reprised her role as Lady Olenna Tyrell (below) in Game of Thrones season four and in July 2014 received another Guest Actress Emmy nomination. In 2015 she again reprised the role in season five, in an expanded role from the books.


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    Selected Diana Rigg TVography

Affairs of the Heart
- Grace (1974)

Armchair Theatre
- The Hothouse (1964)

The Avengers
- series co-star as Emma Peel (1965 - 1968)

Bleak House (TV Mini-Series)
- as Lady Honoria Dedlock

Charles II: The Power & the Passion
- Episode #1.3 (2003)
- Episode #1.1 (2003)

- as Veronica (6 episodes - 2015 - 2017)

- series star as Diana Smythe (1973 - 1974)

Doctor Who
- The Crimson Horror (2013)

- Daniel Radcliffe (2006)

- The Comedy of Errors (1964)

Game of Thrones
- as Olenna Tyrell (18 episodes - 2013 - 2017)

ITV Play of the Week
- Women Beware Women (1965)

ITV Saturday Night Theatre
- Married Alive (1970)

Mother Love (TV Mini-Series)
- as Helena Vesey, Episodes 1-4 (1989)

The Mrs Bradley Mysteries
- The Worsted Viper (2000)
- Laurels Are Poison (2000)
- The Rising of the Moon (2000)
- Death at the Opera (2000)
- Speedy Death (1998)

Murder in Mind
- Suicide (2003)

- Host (1989-2004)

Oresteia (TV Mini-Series)
- Furies (1979)
- Grave Gifts (1979)
- Agamemnon (1979)

Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero
- as Mayor Pink Panda (2015 - 2017)

The Play on One
- Unexplained Laughter (1989)

Three Piece Suite
- Little Things... That Go Bump in the Night/Every Day in Every Way/Walking the Dog (1977)
- Come in, No.1/This Situation/All in the Mind (1977)
- Miss/Celluloid Dreams/Mea Culpa (1977)
- Bitter Suite/Entrance Fee/Public Lives (1977)
- After You're Gone/Little Things... Parking/Wonderful Woman (1977)
- Hearts and Flowers/Screen Night/Briefer Encounter (1977)

The Sentimental Agent
- A Very Desirable Plot (1963)

Road to Avonlea
- The Disappearance (1993)

You, Me and the Apocalypse
- The End of the World (2015)
- 24 Hours to Go (2015)
- T Minus... (2015)
- Home Sweet Home (2015)
- Still Stuff Worth Fighting For (2015)

- as Duchess of Buccleuch (9 episodes - 2017)

    Selected Diana Rigg Filmography


A Midsummer Night's Dream



The Assassination Bureau

On Her Majesty's Secret Service


Julius Caesar


The Hospital


Theatre of Blood


A Little Night Music


The Great Muppet Caper


Evil Under the Sun


Snow White


A Good Man in Africa


Parting Shots




The Painted Veil


The Honourable Rebel

Professor Branestawm Returns (TV Movie)


A Christmas Carol Goes Wrong (TV Movie)


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    Diana Rigg links


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