LONDON (AP) – Diana Rigg, a British actress who became a 1960s style icon as secret agent Emma Peel on the TV series “The Avengers”, has passed away. She was 82.
Rigg’s agent Simon Beresford said she died at home with her family on Thursday morning. Daughter Rachael Stirling said she died of cancer diagnosed in March.
Rigg “spent her last months joyfully reflecting on her extraordinary life, full of love, laughter and deep pride in her profession. I’ll miss her without words, ”Stirling said.
Rigg starred in “The Avengers” alongside Patrick McNee’s Bowler Hat John Steed. The pair were an impeccably dressed duo fighting bad guys and exchanging jokes in a show whose blend of adventure and humor was enduringly influential.
Rigg also starred in the 1967 James Bond thriller “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” as the only woman to ever marry Agent 007.
In later life she played Olenna Tyrell in “Game of Thrones” and the Duchess of Buccleuch in “Victoria” and co-starred with her daughter in the British sitcom “Detectorists”.
Rigg spent several years as a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company in the 1960s, combining film work with an acclaimed stage career, in such plays as Bertolt Brecht’s “Mother Courage” and Tom Stoppard’s “Jumpers” at the National Theater in London.
Stoppard said Rigg was “the prettiest 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 wonderful. “