Theatre News: Game of Thrones and West End actress Dame Diana Rigg dies aged 82

Award-winning actress Dame Diana Rigg, best known for her roles in Game of Thrones and the James Bond franchise as well as a number of West End productions, has died of cancer aged 82, her daughter announced on Thursday.

Born in 1938 and trained at RADA, Rigg made her Broadway debut in 1971. She remained a committed thespian throughout her life, even winning a Tony Award in 1994 for playing the titular role in Euripides’ Medea.

Following Rigg’s death, tributes have poured in from fellow celebrities. Game of Thrones actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau wrote that “she always raised the bar with her incredible talent, intelligence and wit. An absolute joy and honour to work with. May her soul Rest In Peace.” Samuel L. Jackson was another to pay his respects on Twitter.

Rigg is best known for her on-screen work, beginning with her starring role as Emma Peel in 1960s TV series The Avengers. She later went on to play “Bond girl” Tracy di Vicenzo opposite George Lazenby’s 007 in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969). To younger fans, however, she will be most recognisable for her performance as the calculating, acerbic Lady Olena Tyrell in the Game of Thrones TV series. Her most recent role was as Miss Collins in Last Night in Soho, which is expected to be released in April 2021.

Words by Emma Curzon.

Image Credits: Brettmann Archives, HBO.


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