The legendary Dame Diana Rigg — known for her roles in Game of Thrones, UK’s Avengers, and James Bond’s wife in On Her Majesty's Secret Service — has died at the age of 82.
The outstanding stage actress’ agent, Simon Beresford, told Fox News in a statement that she died Thursday, Sept. 9, alongside her family at home. "It is with tremendous sadness that we announce that Dame Diana Rigg died peacefully early this morning. She was at home with her family who have asked for privacy at this difficult time. Dame Diana was an icon of theatre, film, and television," he shared.
The English actress’s career took off in the 1961 TV series Avengers- where she played Emma Peel and earned an Emmy nomination in 1967 and 1968 — she then became a historic worldwide phenomenon in 1969 as Bond's wife in the Bond Film, On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
The Bond producers, Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, paid their respect’s to the legend in a Tweet posted Thursday, Sept. 10. "We are very sad to hear of the passing of Dame Diana Rigg, the legendary stage and screen actress who was much beloved by Bond fans for her memorable performance as Tracy di Vicenzo in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the only woman to have married James Bond," he wrote. "Our love and thoughts are with her family and friends at this sad time," the producers added.
"We are very sad to hear of the passing of Dame Diana Rigg, the legendary stage and screen actress who was much beloved by Bond fans for her memorable performance as Tracy di Vicenzo in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the only woman to have married James Bond." pic.twitter.com/nqQCSg35oM— James Bond (@007) September 10, 2020
Rigg is more recently known for her role as Lady Olenna Tyrell — the matriarch of House Tyrell — in HBO hit show, Game of Thrones, and while she admitted to never have watched the show in 2019, she earned an Emmy nomination for her stellar performance in 2018. She dished to BBC in 2019 that she did love her character on GOT explaining: "I love playing bad characters. They are so much more interesting than good."
GOT honored Rigg with a tweet: "Be a dragon. The realm will always remember Diana Rigg."
Born on Dec. 20 1938, the Doncaster native grew up in India after her father accepted a job there and trained at there Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1955, making her acting debut in The Caucasian Chalk Circle at the York Festival in 1957. She later joined the Royal Shakespeare Company and took on several roles- her most significant being in the touring production of King Lear as Cordelia.
The Evil Under the Sun star went on to earn a Tony Award nomination for her role in Abelard and Heloise and earned a second Tony nomination for her in The Misanthrope as Celimene.
The highly-respected actress finally won a Tony Award in 1994 for Best Actress after her role in Medea on Broadway and went on to win an Emmy Award in 1997 for her role in Rebecca.
Her biggest accolade was most likely when she was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire that same year — previously already making Commander at the 1988 New Year Honors — for her work in drama at the 1944 Birthday Honors.
Rigg’s daughter, Rachael Stirling, disclosed that she died of cancer, which she was diagnosed with in March. "My Beloved Ma died peacefully in her sleep early this morning, at home, surrounded by family," Stirling said in her statement. "She died of cancer diagnosed 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."