British actor Diana Rigg, Olenna Tyrell of Game of Thrones fame, dies aged 82

Diana Rigg’s agent Simon Beresford said she died Thursday morning at home with her family.

FP Staff September 10, 2020 19:58:39 IST
British actor Diana Rigg, Olenna Tyrell of Game of Thrones fame, dies aged 82

Diana Rigg, a British actress who became a 1960s style icon as secret agent Emma Peel in TV series The Avengers, has died. She was 82.

Rigg’s agent Simon Beresford said she died Thursday morning at home with her family.

Rigg’s daughter, Rachael Stirling, said she died of cancer that was diagnosed in March.

Rigg starred in The Avengers alongside Patrick McNee’s bowler-hatted John Steed. The pair were an impeccably dressed duo who fought villains and traded quips in a show whose mix of adventure and humour was enduringly influential.

Rigg also starred in spy thriller On Her Majesty’s Secret Service as the only woman ever to marry James Bond .

In later life, she played Olenna Tyrell in Game of Thrones. According to The Guardian, she admitted to never having watched the hit HBO show, based on George RR Martin's book series.

Rigg was born near Doncaster, UK on 20 July, 1938. As a child, she moved to India where her father was employed as a railway engineer for the Maharaja of Bikaner, writes the BBC.

Upon her return to England, she was fluent with Hindi. She was then sent to a Yorkshire boarding school after which she trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Her first acting project was a production of Bertolt Brecht's The Caucasian Chalk Circle.

Rigg then joined the Royal Shakespeare Company, and was lauded for her performance as Cordelia in King Lear. As a stage actor, she received two Tony nominations (for Abelard and Heloise, and the other for her performance as Celimene in The Misanthrope) and a win for Medea. She also won a BAFTA for the four-part BBC  TV show Mother Love.

(With inputs from The Associated Press)

 

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