36 Facts About Diana Rigg


Dame Enid Diana Elizabeth Rigg was an English actress of stage and screen.


Diana Rigg's roles include Emma Peel in the TV series The Avengers ; Countess Teresa di Vicenzo, wife of James Bond, in On Diana Rigg's Majesty's Secret Service ; Olenna Tyrell in Game of Thrones ; and the title role in Medea in the West End in 1993 followed by Broadway a year later.


Diana Rigg was made a CBE in 1988 and a Dame in 1994 for services to drama.


Diana Rigg appeared in numerous TV series and films, playing Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream ; Lady Holiday in The Great Muppet Caper ; and Arlena Marshall in Evil Under the Sun.


Diana Rigg won the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress for the BBC miniseries Mother Love and an Emmy Award for her role as Mrs Danvers in Rebecca.


Enid Diana Elizabeth Rigg was born on 20 July 1938 in Doncaster, then in the West Riding of Yorkshire, to Louis and Beryl Hilda Rigg.


Diana Rigg's father was born in Yorkshire, worked in engineering, and moved to India to work for the railway to take advantage of the career opportunities there.


Diana Rigg's mother moved back to England for Rigg's birth.


Between the ages of two months and eight years, Diana Rigg lived in Bikaner, Rajasthan, India, where her father worked his way up to become a railway executive in the Bikaner State Railway.


Diana Rigg spoke Hindi as her second language in those years.


Diana Rigg was later sent back to England to attend a boarding school, Fulneck Girls School, in a Moravian settlement near Pudsey.


Diana Rigg hated her boarding school, where she felt like a fish out of water, but believed that Yorkshire played a greater part in shaping her character than India did.


Diana Rigg trained as an actress at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art from 1955 to 1957, where her classmates included Glenda Jackson and Sian Phillips.


Diana Rigg returned to the stage in the Ronald Millar play Abelard and Heloise in London in 1970 and made her Broadway debut with the play in 1971, in which she appeared nude with Keith Michell.


Diana Rigg earned the first of three Tony Award nominations for Best Actress in a Play.


Diana Rigg received her second nomination in 1975, for The Misanthrope.


Diana Rigg appeared in 2008 in The Cherry Orchard at the Chichester Festival Theatre, returning there in 2009 to star in Noel Coward's Hay Fever.


From 1965 to 1968, Diana Rigg appeared in the British 1960s television series The Avengers opposite Patrick Macnee as John Steed, playing the secret agent Emma Peel in 51 episodes.


Diana Rigg replaced Elizabeth Shepherd at very short notice when Shepherd was dropped from the role after filming two episodes.


Diana Rigg auditioned for the role on a whim, without ever having seen the programme.


Diana Rigg did not like the way that she was treated by production company ABC Weekend TV.


Patrick Macnee noted that Diana Rigg had later told him that she considered Macnee and her driver to be her only friends on the set.


Diana Rigg said she took the role with the hope that she would become better known in the United States.


Diana Rigg appeared as the title character in The Marquise, a television adaptation of a play by Noel Coward.


Diana Rigg appeared in the Yorkshire Television production of Ibsen's Hedda Gabler in the title role, and as Lady Holiday in the film The Great Muppet Caper.


Diana Rigg appeared as Regan, the king's treacherous second daughter, in a Granada Television production of King Lear which starred Laurence Olivier in the title role.


Diana Rigg appeared on television as Mrs Danvers in Rebecca, winning an Emmy, as well as the PBS production Moll Flanders, and as the amateur detective Mrs Bradley in The Mrs Bradley Mysteries.


Diana Rigg appeared in the second series of Ricky Gervais's comedy Extras, alongside Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe, and in the 2006 film The Painted Veil, in which she played a nun.


Diana Rigg's performance was well received by critics and audiences alike, and earned her an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards in 2013.


Diana Rigg reprised her role in season four of Game of Thrones, and in July 2014 received another Guest Actress Emmy nomination.


Diana Rigg died after filming of the first season had been completed.


Diana Rigg was married to Menachem Gueffen, an Israeli painter, from 1973 until their divorce in 1976 and to Archibald Stirling, a theatrical producer and former officer in the Scots Guards, from 25 March 1982 until their divorce in 1990 after his affair with the actress Joely Richardson.


Diana Rigg was chancellor of the University of Stirling, a ceremonial rather than executive role, and was succeeded by James Naughtie when her 10-year term of office ended on 31 July 2008.


Diana Rigg died at her daughter's home in London on 10 September 2020, at the age of 82.


In 1999, Diana Rigg was appointed as the Cameron Mackintosh Visiting professor of Contemporary Theatre at St Catherine's College, Oxford; it was a post which she held for one year.


In 2014, Diana Rigg received the Will Award, presented by the Shakespeare Theatre Company, along with Stacy Keach and John Hurt.