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Stage and Screen Legend Diana Rigg Passes Away at 82

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Rigg won a Tony Award in 1994 for her performance in Medea.

Stage and Screen Legend Diana Rigg Passes Away at 82

BroadwayWorld is saddened to report that star of stage and screen Dame Diana Rigg has passed away, according to the BBC. She was 82 years old.

Rigg 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 has also had 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.

Rigg made her professional stage debut in 1957 in The Caucasian Chalk Circle, and joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1959. She made her Broadway debut in the 1971 production of Abelard & Heloise. She most recently appeared on Broadway in the Lincoln Center Theater revival of My Fair Lady.

Her film roles include Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream (1968); Lady Holiday in The Great Muppet Caper (1981); and Arlena Marshall in Evil Under the Sun (1982). She won the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress for the BBC miniseries Mother Love (1989), and an Emmy Award for her role as Mrs. Danvers in an adaptation of Rebecca (1997). Her other television credits include You, Me and the Apocalypse (2015), Detectorists (2015), and the DOCTOR WHO episode "The Crimson Horror" (2013) with her daughter, Rachael Stirling.

"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. She was the recipient of BAFTA, Emmy, Tony and Evening Standard Awards for her work on stage and screen. Dame Diana was a much loved and admired member of her profession, a force of nature who loved her work and her fellow actors. She will be greatly missed." Simon Beresford (Agent)

"My Beloved Ma died peacefully in her sleep early this morning, at home, surrounded by family. 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." Rachael Stirling (Daughter)

"Diana Rigg had a dazzling change of direction in middle age as a great classical actor. When Emma Peel played Euripides' Medea, Albee's Martha and Brecht's Mother Courage she swept all before her." Sir David Hare

"Diana Rigg's combination of force of personality, beauty, courage and sheer emotional power, made her a great classical actress - one of an astonishing generation of British stage performers. I was so fortunate to direct her in a series of great classical roles - Medea, Phèdre - in Ted Hughes' version, specially written for her - Mother Courage and Dryden's Cleopatra. Her dazzling wit and that inimitable voice made her an unforgettable leading figure in British theatre." Jonathan Kent

"For half her life Diana was the most beautiful woman in the room, but she was what used to be called a Trouper. She went to work with her sleeves rolled up and a smile for everyone. Her talent was luminous." Sir Tom Stoppard


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