British actress Diana Rigg, who came to fame in the cult 1960s TV show “The Avengers” and recently appeared in “Game of Thrones”, died on Thursday aged 82.
Rigg, who had a long career in theatre as well as appearing in the James Bond film “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” in which her character marries the British spy, died at home with her family.
“My Beloved Ma died peacefully in her sleep early this morning, at home, surrounded by family,” her daughter Rachael Stirling said in a statement.
“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.”
Rigg, born in Doncaster in northern England, moved with her family to India before going to school in England. She studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art before making her debut at the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1959.
It was her role as the karate-kicking leather-clad secret agent Emma Peel in the Avengers, alongside Patrick McNee’s bowler-hatted John Steed, that brought her to wide attention.
“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,” British playwright Tom Stoppard said in a statement.