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Tributes are being paid to British acting legend Dame Diana Rigg, who has sadly passed away at the age of 82.

Rigg, known for her roles in The Avengers, Game of Thrones, and the classic Bond film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, passed away peacefully this morning (September 10).

Her daughter, fellow actress Rachael Stirling, told the BBC: “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.”

Rigg’s prolific acting career on stage and screen stretched out over more than 60 years. She first found fame in the mid-’60s when she was cast in The Avengers as supremely capable secret agent Emma Peel, an iconic character who was embraced as a style icon and a feminist role model. After quitting the series in 1968, she starred opposite George Lazenby in the 1969 Bond film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, in which she played 007’s wife, Countess Teresa di Vicenzo.

She later won a BAFTA TV Award for her performance as a difficult mother-in-law in the 1989 miniseries Mother Love and an Emmy Award for her portrayal of Mrs. Danvers in a 1997 adaptation of Daphne Du Maurier‘s Rebecca. For her more recent role as cunning matriarch Olyenna Tyrell in Game of Thrones, she earned four Emmy nominations, taking her career tally to nine.

Rigg also appeared opposite her daughter Rachael Stirling in the 2013 Doctor Who episode “The Crimson Horror.” Her final movie role will come in Edgar Wright‘s upcoming psychological horror movie Last Night in Soho, which is set for release in 2021.

Paying tribute to Rigg on Twitter, Wright hailed the late actress as “blazingly talented, fiery, and funny.”

Rigg was also a highly revered stage actress who won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her performance in a 1994 Broadway production of the Ancient Greek tragedy Medea. The same year, she was made a Dame by Queen Elizabeth II for her services to drama.

Oscar-winning screenwriter and playwright Sir Tom Stoppard has also shared a heartfelt tribute to Rigg, telling the BBC: “For half her life Diana was the most beautiful 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 luminous.”

She is survived by her daughter and grandson Jack, who was born in April 2017.

Rest in peace, Dame Diana Rigg, and thank you for your service.

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Filed Under: Dame Diana Rigg
By Nick Levine