Dame Diana Rigg dies aged 82

10 September 2020, 14:32 | Updated: 10 September 2020, 15:10

Dame Diana Rigg has died aged 82
Dame Diana Rigg has died aged 82. Picture: PA

Dame Diana Rigg, known for her roles in The Avengers and Game of Thrones, has died aged 82.

The BAFTA and Emmy winner also starred as James Bond's only wife in the film "On Her Majesty's Secret Service".

The multi-award winner, best known as Emma Peel in The Avengers and more recently for playing Olenna Tyrell in Game of Thrones, was diagnosed with cancer in March.

A statement from her agent says she passed away early this morning, surrounded by her family.

“It is with tremendous sadness that we announce that Dame Diana Rigg died peacefully early this morning," the statement 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.”

The actress starred in Game of Thrones and The Avengers
The actress starred in Game of Thrones and The Avengers. Picture: PA

Her daughter, actress Rachael Stirling, said: “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.”

Sir David Hare and Sir Tom Stoppard also paid tribute to Dame Diana.

Sir David said: "Diana Rigg had a dazzling change of direction in middle age as a great classical actor. When Emma Peel played Euripides' Medea, Albee's Martha and Brecht's Mother Courage she swept all before her".

Sir Tom said: "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".

In a tweet, Bafa said: "We're sad to hear of the passing of Dame Diana Rigg, Bafta-winner for her performance in Mother Love in 1990 and joint recipient of the Bafta Television Special Award in 2000 for The Avengers."