Theme Times – Diana Rigg

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Diana Rigg By NBC Television – Original text : eBayfrontback, Public Domain

20th July 1938 – 10th September 2020 R.I.P

Dame Enid Diana Elizabeth Rigg DBE (20 July 1938 – 10 September 2020) was an English stage and screen actress. She played Emma Peel in the TV series The Avengers (1965–1968); Countess Teresa di Vicenzo, wife of James Bond, in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969); and Olenna Tyrell in Game of Thrones (2013–2017). She also enjoyed a career in theatre, including playing the title role in Medea, both in London and New York, for which she won the 1994 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play. She was made a CBE in 1988 and a Dame in 1994 for services to drama.

Rigg made her professional stage debut in 1957 in The Caucasian Chalk Circle, then joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1959. She made her Broadway debut in the 1971 production of Abelard & Heloise.

Her film roles include Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1968); Lady Holiday in The Great Muppet Caper (1981) and Arlena Marshall in Evil Under the Sun (1982). She won the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress for the BBC miniseries Mother Love (1989), and an Emmy Award for her role as Mrs. Danvers in an adaptation of Rebecca (1997). Her other television credits include You, Me and the Apocalypse (2015), Detectorists (2015), and the Doctor Who episode “The Crimson Horror” (2013) with her daughter, Rachael Stirling.

Been a huge fan for many many years. l caught reruns of The Avengers in Australia in the late 70’s and admit to you here of having a huge crush on Emma Peel. A sad loss of a legendary actress who knew success on both stage and screen and had devout followers from her roles in Game of Thrones, The Avengers and James Bond.

Here are her top 7 roles in my opinion. Were you too a fan of her work?

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Emma Peel – The Avengers – 1965 – 1968
From Hello to Goodbye

Shown in Great Britain for more than five years (debuting in 1961) before it caught on in America, `The Avengers’ is a secret-agent thriller that almost bests James Bond. Jonathan Steed – an urbane, proper gentleman spy – teams with various assistants throughout the series’ run, including Dr. David Keel, Cathy Gale, Emma Peel and Tara King, to repeatedly save the world from diabolical schemes plotted by equally diabolical evil-doers (among them robots and man-eating monsters). Peel, in her leather boots and miniskirts, is now considered one of the most liberated women on 1960s television.

Lady Olenna – Game of Thrones – 2011 – 2019

Nine noble families wage war against each other in order to gain control over the mythical land of Westeros. Meanwhile, a force is rising after millenniums and threatens the existence of living men.

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – 1969

James Bond is assigned a mission to defeat Blofeld, who hypnotizes beautiful women to realise his own evil motives. Meanwhile, he also falls in love with a crime lord’s daughter.

Evil Under the Sun – 1982

Hercule Poirot, a detective, goes to an exclusive island that is frequented by the rich and famous. When a murder is committed, everyone has an alibi.

Mother Superior – The Painted Veil – 2006

Dr Walter gets married to the beautiful Kitty but soon finds out that she is cheating on him. Battling his way through life, he heads to China to fight a dreaded disease that has spread in a village.

Helena – A Midsummer Night’s Dream – 1968

While preparations are underway for the marriage of Athenian duke Theseus (Derek Godfrey) and Amazon queen Hippolyta (Barbara Jefford), fairy king Oberon (Ian Richardson) and his tricky jester, Puck (Ian Holm), make mischief with the indiscriminate use of a powerful love potion. Lysander (David Warner) and Demetrius (Michael Jayston) both fall for Helena (Diana Rigg), raising the jealousy of Hermia (Helen Mirren), whose father is pressuring her to marry Demetrius despite Lysander’s love for her.

Lady Holiday – The Great Muppet Caper – 1981

When Lady Holiday’s invaluable diamond necklace gets stolen, Kermit and Fozzie are sent to London to interview her and find the culprit. But Kermit falls in love with the accused.

Mrs Danvers – Rebecca – 1997

Based on the Daphne du Maurier classic about a new bride whose marriage is overshadowed by a dead woman’s memory.

Bonus Feature

So there we go folks, my personal favourites of Diana Rigg’s – many of you may only have known of her as Lady Olenna or Emma Peel or? Tell me, fan or not?

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