Dame Diana Rigg whose career spanned decades and was most recently known for her brilliant work as Lady Olenna Tyrell in Game of Thrones passed away on September 10, 2020.
“She died peacefully early this morning,” her agent confirmed to BBC News. “She was at home with her family who have asked for privacy at this difficult time.”
Rigg was diagnosed with cancer in March, according to her daughter Rachael Stirling, who said the actress “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.”
After spending some time with the Royal Shakespeare Company Rigg found fame in the mid 1960’s playing Emma Peel in the spy drama ‘The Avengers’. The role was crucial in her securing a spot in 1969’s 007: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Rigg was and remains the only ‘Bond girl’ to ever marry the titular character.
In 1990, she won a BAFTA for best actress playing an obsessive mother in the BBC drama Mother Love. In 1994 she won a Tony award for best actress for her role in Medea. In 1997 she won an Emmy for best supporting actress for the mini-series Rebecca. In 2000, she was also awarded a special BAFTA award for The Avengers alongside co-stars Honor Blackman, Joanna Lumley and Linda Thorson.
By the time Rigg joined the cast of Game of Thrones she was already a well established and celebrated actress and her acting prowess really showed. From the moment she appeared she stole every scene and instantly became a fan favorite. Witty and brash at the same time, Rigg played the part effortlessly, was a joy to watch and some would argue was the best character on the show.
Rigg exited Game of Thrones with the most iconic line reading of the entire show’s run. A masterclass in chewing up a scene, her final moments were an exclamation point to everything the character represented.
With a long career of playing strong women Rigg will always be remembered for her commitment to her craft and desire to uplift others. May she rest in peace.