WhatsOnStage Logo
Home link

Diana Rigg has died aged 82

The screen and stage legend has passed away

Diana Rigg
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Diana Rigg has died aged 82, it has been confirmed.

Born in 1938 in Doncaster and training at RADA alongside the likes of Glenda Jackson and Siân Phillips, Rigg made her start on stage, working with the RSC from 1959 to 1964.

After making her Broadway debut in 1971, she was later a part of the National Theatre's rep company at The Old Vic from 1972 to 1975, starring in two Tom Stoppard plays – Jumpers and Night and Day.

Rigg also starred in the West End production of Stephen Sondheim's musical Follies in 1987, and, from 1992, played Medea at the Almeida, in the West End and on Broadway (winning a Tony Award for her work).

In more recent years, has appeared in the likes of The Cherry Orchard and Hay Fever in Chichester as well as All About My Mother at the Old Vic. Rigg even went on to win a WhatsOnStage Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Play for her turn in the show.

She returned to the West End in 2011 to play Mrs Higgins in Pygmalion at the Garrick Theatre, having played Eliza 37 years previously. The Tony Award-winning actress also appeared on Broadway in 2018, starring as Mrs Higgins again, though this time in My Fair Lady.

On television, she played secret agent Emma Peel in 51 episodes of The Avengers, while also working opposite Laurence Olivier in a filmed version of King Lear.

Rigg more recently won audience's hearts as Olenna Tyrell in hit series Game of Thrones, while also working alongside her daughter Rachael Stirling in Doctor Who in 2013.

She also appeared as Countess Teresa di Vicenzo, wife of James Bond, in On Her Majesty's Secret Service.