2020 has taken another star away from us. Actress Dame Diana Rigg, who played the beloved role of Olenna Tyrell in HBO’s Game of Thrones has died at the age of 82, after a long battle against cancer.
Her agent, Simon Beresford’s statement read:
“It is with tremendous sadness that we announce that Dame Diana Rigg died peacefully early this morning. She was at home with her family who have asked for privacy at this difficult time.”
Furthermore, the actress Rachael Sterling, Diana Rigg’s daughter, 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.”
Moreover, Director Johnathan Kent commended her performance in theatres and attributed it to her wit, saying that her performance was a:
“… combination of force of personality, beauty, courage and sheer emotional power, made her a great classical actress – one of an astonishing generation of British stage performers. Her dazzling wit and that inimitable voice made her an unforgettable leading figure in British theatre.”
Dame Diana Rigg – Life and career
Born in Doncaster, England in 1938, Diana Rigg led a very successful career in the film industry. She played the role of Emma Peel in The Avengers (1965-68, not Marvel’s).
Moreover, Diana Rigg is the only Bond girl in the history of James Bond who had the honor of marrying the secret agent. So, the only title of Mrs. Bond also belongs to this legendary actress. Daniel Craig, the current James Bond, also called Diana Rigg’s performance as Teresa di Vicenzo in the James Bond film as the most memorable Bond girl of all time in 1969’s “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.”
"We are very sad to hear of the passing of Dame Diana Rigg, the legendary stage and screen actress who was much beloved by Bond fans for her memorable performance as Tracy di Vicenzo in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the only woman to have married James Bond." pic.twitter.com/nqQCSg35oM
— James Bond (@007) September 10, 2020
However, Dame Diana Rigg’s most career-defining role, for which most will remember her for a long time, is that of Olenna Tyrell from Game of Thrones. She was the perfect actress to portray Lady Olenna’s wittiness from the books. Her portrayal was so strong that many book fans picture Diana Rigg as Olenna while reading ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’. That is how strong her performance was. Diana Rigg herself also enjoyed playing Olenna, as she told BBC:
“I love playing bad [characters]. They are so much more interesting than good. There are some actors who don’t like to play bad; they like to be liked. I love to be disliked. Olenna had the best lines.”
Be a dragon.
The realm will always remember Diana Rigg.
— Game of Thrones (@GameOfThrones) September 10, 2020
Dame Diana Rigg won a BAFTA in 1990 for her role in TV series “Mother Love.” Furthermore, she also won another special BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) award in 2000 for her performance in The Avengers. She also won an Emmy award in 1997 for her performance as Mrs. Danvers in “Rebecca”. Her memorable performances will always live strong in the hearts of her fans. That includes the young ones who will always remember her as Lady Olenna Tyrell.