British actress Diana Rigg, star of “Games of Thrones,” has died at the age of 82.
Riggs’ representative, Simon Beresford, reports that she died Thursday morning at home with her family. Rigg’s daughter, Rachael Stirling, claims her death was due to cancer after a diagnosis in March.
Diana “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,” Stirling said.
Her performance as Emma Peel in The Avengers TV series (1965) brought her international fame, BBC News reported.
“Sexy, resourceful and self-assured – with a deadly knowledge of self-defence – Rigg’s character became an icon for the growing feminist movement,” the BBC wrote. “Her action-girl allure, coupled with her husky voice – the result of a 20-a-day cigarette habit – also brought her plenty of male admirers.”
Rigg also starred in 1967 James Bond thriller “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.” In this film, her character is known as the only woman to make it to the altar with Agent 007.
Later in life, she played Olenna Tyrell in “Game of Thrones” and the Duchess of Buccleuch in “Victoria.” She starred with her daughter in the British series “Detectorists.”
Rigg won a Tony Award in 1994 for “Medea” on Broadway. She was also nominated for several other roles, most recently in 2018 for playing Mrs. Higgins in “My Fair Lady.”
Rigg spent several years in the 1960s as a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company. She multi-tasked between screen work and an acclaimed stage career.
Rigg performed in plays including Bertolt Brecht’s “Mother Courage” and Tom Stoppard’s “Jumpers” at the National Theatre in London. Stoppard said Diana Rigg was “the most beautiful woman in the room.”
“She went to work with her sleeves rolled up and a smile for everyone. Her talent was luminous.”
Remembering Diana Rigg
Fans of Rigg have spoken out on social media to remember the talented actress commonly referred to as “badass.”
Author Emma Kennedy tweets, “First crush. What a woman. Fought baddies, fought for equal pay, a Dame from start to finish. RIP.”
Journalist Matthew Sweet writes, I think Diana Rigg was our Joan Crawford or Bette Davis. All that power and hauteur, but mischief, too – and somehow her delight in irony never stopped you believing in the character. And she asked to be paid properly.”
Actor/author George Takei says, “It was too soon for you to leave us, but we are grateful for decades of your art.”
[H/T BBC News]