Acting legend Dame Diana Rigg has died aged 82

Diana Rigg
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Diana Rigg first found fame in The Avengers

Dame Diana Rigg, star of The Avengers, Game of Thrones and James Bond, has died aged 82.

The acclaimed actress was best known to TV audiences for her parts as Emma Peel in legendary series The Avengers and as Olenna Tyrell in Game of Thrones.

She was also seen recently in the ITV costume drama Victoria, where she played the Duchess of Buccleuch. At the time, she told us: "My Duchess has no long speeches, mostly punchy lines. That’s heaven.”

The acting great is also in the new series of All Creatures Great and Small on Channel 5 as Mrs Pumphrey.

Diana Rigg as Tracy in On Her Majesty's Secret Service

Dame Diana Rigg made a huge impact as tragic Tracy in the 1969 James Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service (credit: Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images) (Image credit: Getty Images)

Meanwhile, on the big screen Diana has a special place in the hearts of James Bond fans. She played Tracy in the 1969 film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, starring George Lazenby in his one outing as 007. As Tracy, Diana became the only woman to wed Bond, only for her to die in the movie’s tragic ending.

Looking back on the role, she once told TV Times: “The Bond organisation turned their back on that film, they never mention it because it’s the one thing that they consider a failure because of George Lazenby, but as far as the public is concerned it’s not a failure and it became a sleeper hit."

Diana Rigg

Diana Rigg was a much loved star and enjoyed a long career (credit: Getty images) (Image credit: Getty Images)

In the same interview, asked how long she’d like to go on working, she replied: “Forever, or as long as they will have me!"

Diana’s other credits included Detectorists, Doctor Who, Bleak House and The Mrs Bradley Mysteries.

Her agent said Diana Rigg “died peacefully earlier this morning. She was at home with her family who have asked for privacy at this difficult time.”

David Hollingsworth

David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.

Before working for What To Watch, David spent many years working for TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough. 

David started out as a writer for TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.

Other than watching and writing about telly, David loves playing cricket, going to the cinema, trying to improve his tennis and chasing about after his kids!