Diana Rigg Wiki – Diana Rigg Biography
Diana Rigg, DBE was an English actress. Rigg was born on 20 July 1938, in Doncaster, which was then in the West Riding of Yorkshire, now in South Yorkshire, to Louis Rigg (1903–1968) and Beryl Hilda (née Helliwell; 1908–1981). She played Emma Peel in the TV series The Avengers (1965–68), Countess Teresa di Vicenzo, wife of James Bond, in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) and Olenna Tyrell in Game of Thrones (2013–17). She also enjoyed a career in theatre, including playing the title role in Medea, both in London and New York, for which she won the 1994 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play. She was made a CBE in 1988 and a Dame in 1994 for services to drama.
She was later sent back to England to attend a boarding school, Fulneck Girls School, in a Moravian settlement near Pudsey. Rigg hated her boarding school, where she felt like a fish out of water, but she believes that Yorkshire played a greater part in shaping her character than India did. She trained as an actress at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art from 1955–57, where her classmates included Glenda Jackson and Siân Phillips.
Rigg, who was nominated for one Golden Globe, was best known for her appearances in On Her Majesty’s Secret Server (1969), The Avengers (1965-1968) and The Painted Veil (2006), as noted by her profile on the Internet Movie Database.
“She’s not a bad actress,” Clemens recalled of Shepherd, according to the BBC. “But she just didn’t have a sense of humor at all–that was essential in The Avengers. So we scrapped what we’d shot and got rid of her and then tested, and out of the tests came Diana Rigg, who was head and shoulders above everybody else.”
Rigg struggled to deal with the fame that came along with The Avengers, leading her to spend only two years on the series, the BBC wrote. She would hide in the bathroom to get away from the crowds. Rigg also didn’t want to let her theater career fall by the wayside.
“Some weeks I’d spend four days on the set of The Avengers and then head up to Stratford to be Regan to Olivier’s Lear,” she once said, according to the publication.
She also wasn’t the biggest fan of her outfit. “The leather catsuit I wore in The Avengers was a total nightmare; it took a good 45 minutes to get unzipped to go to the loo,” she was quoted as saying on IMBD. “It was like struggling in and out of a wet-suit.”
Once I got into the jersey catsuits, they were very easy to wear but you had to watch for baggy knees; there is nothing worse. I got a lot of very odd fan mail while I was in that show, but my mum used to enjoy replying to it. Some of the men who wrote to me must have been a bit startled because she would offer really motherly advice. I would get a letter from a teenage boy, say, who was overexcited and my mother would write back saying: “My daughter is far too old for you and what you really need is a good run around the block.”
Diana Rigg Age
Diana Rigg has died at the age of 82 years.
Her father was a railway engineer born in Yorkshire. Between the ages of two months and eight years Rigg lived in Bikaner, India, where her father was employed as a railway executive. She spoke Hindi as her second language in those young years.
In 1994, she won a Tony Award for Best Actress for her portrayal in Medea, where she performed in New York and London theater. “Ms. Rigg sees Medea as a woman of restless intellect,” The New York Times wrote in their review, according to Variety. “An orgiastic fervor informed Ms. Caldwell’s performance; she had a savage growl in her voice. A passionate sense of injustice propels Ms. Rigg, whose voice never entirely loses its intrinsic musicality.”
Rigg also received Tony nominations for her parts in Abelard and Heloise (1972) and The Misanthrope (1975). Rigg received eight Emmy nominations and won in 1997 for playing Mrs. Danvers in Rebecca.
When Rigg won the role of Emma Peel in The Avengers, she had actually taken over for another actress. Producer Brian Clemens wasn’t pleased with the way the original actress, Elizabeth Shepherd, was playing the role.
Husband & Children
She was married to Menachem Gueffen, an Israeli painter, from 1973 until their divorce in 1976, and to Archibald Stirling, a theatrical producer and former officer in the Scots Guards, from 25 March 1982, until their divorce in 1990 after his affair with the actress Joely Richardson. With Stirling, Rigg has a daughter, actress Rachael Stirling, who was born in 1977.
Cause of Death
Legendary actress Dame Diana Rigg, who most recently played Lady Olenna Tyrell in HBO’s Game of Thrones, died at the age of 82, The BBC reported on September 10.
“She died peacefully early this morning. She was at home with her family who have asked for privacy at this difficult time,” her agent told the BBC. She died from cancer which was diagnosed back in March.