Tributes pour in for Dame Diana Rigg after Bond star dies aged 82
Rigg died on Thursday morning after a battle with cancer
The screen and stage star was best known for her role as Emma Peel in The Avengers and for playing James Bond’s wife in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, as well as for her later turn as Olenna Tyrell in Game of Thrones.
Her daughter Rachel Stirling, who starred alongside her in 2013 Doctor Who episode The Crimson Horror, wrote: “My Beloved Ma died peacefully in her sleep early this morning, at home, surrounded by family.
“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.”
Playwright Sir David Hare made reference to Rigg’s impressive back catalogue of stage work.
“Diana Rigg had a dazzling change of direction in middle age as a great classical actor,” he said. “When Emma Peel played Euripides’ Medea, Albee’s Martha and Brecht’s Mother Courage she swept all before her.”
Hare’s contemporary Sir Tom Stoppard also wrote: “For half her life Diana was the most beautiful woman in the room, but she was what used to be called a trooper.
“She went to work with her sleeves rolled up and a smile for everyone. Her talent was luminous.”
Film organisation Bafta shared a tribute on its official Twitter account, with Rigg having previously won the TV award for Best Actress for her performance in Mother Love in 1990, as well as receiving the Academy’s special award in 2000.
Elsewhere, The League Of Gentlemen’s Mark Gatiss paid tribute to Dame Diana saying “there will never be another”.
He tweeted: “It was my great joy and privilege to have known Diana Rigg. From three slightly hysterical months at the Old Vic in All About Mother to writing The Crimson Horror for Diana and her wonderful daughter Rachael. Flinty, fearless, fabulous. There will never be another. RIP”
John Bradley, who starred in Game of Thrones alongside Diana Rigg, said the actress was “just wonderful”.
Posting a tribute to the actress on Twitter, he said: “Diana Rigg was just wonderful. But you all knew that already. Everybody did. Very sad news.”
The news of Rigg’s passing was announced this afternoon, with a statement from agent Simon Beresford.
“It is with tremendous sadness that we announce that Dame Diana Rigg died peacefully early this morning,” he said.
“She was at home with her family who have asked for privacy at this difficult time. Dame Diana was an icon of theatre, film, and television.
“She was the recipient of Bafta, Emmy, Tony and Evening Standard Awards for her work on stage and screen.
“Dame Diana was a much loved and admired member of her profession, a force of nature who loved her work and her fellow actors. She will be greatly missed.”