Diana Rigg, Emma Peel of ‘The Avengers,’ Dies at age 82

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Diana Rigg, Emma Peel of 'The Avengers,' Dies at age 82
Diana Rigg, Emma Peel of 'The Avengers,' Dies at age 82

Diana Rigg, the actress known for her roles in movies and TV shows like The Avengers, Game of Thrones, and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, has died at 82.

Rigg’s death was confirmed to BBC News by her agent on Thursday, who said she “died peacefully early this morning” while “at home with her family who have asked for privacy at this difficult time.”

Rigg rose to fame after starring as Emma Peel in the classic British series The Avengers beginning in 1965. “Sexy, resourceful and self-assured — with a deadly knowledge of self-defense — Rigg’s character became an icon for the growing feminist movement,” BBC writes. In 1969, she starred in the James Bond film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service as “Bond girl” Tracy di Vicenzo, and in the 2010s, she played Olenna Tyrell on Game of Thrones, on which she was given one of the most memorable final scenes in the series’ run.

Outside of film and television, Rigg was known for her stage work as well, and she won the Tony for Best Actress in a Play in 1994 for her role in Medea. She was also nominated for numerous Emmys, including for The Avengers and Game of Thrones, and she won an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Special for Rebecca in 1997, Variety notes.

“It was my great joy and privilege to have known Diana Rigg,” actor and writer Mark Gatiss tweeted. “…Flinty, fearless, fabulous. There will never be another.”

Director Edgar Wright, who cast Rigg in his upcoming movie Last Night in Soho, also wrote, “It was beyond a thrill to work with her on her final film. She exceeded all my highest expectations, so blazingly talented, fiery and funny. Miss you already Dame D.”

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