Dame Diana Rigg, a Tony and Emmy-winning actress who made her television debut as Emma Peel on The Avengers in the 1960s before going on to portray Lady Olenna Tyrell on Game of Thrones decades later, has died at the age of 82, BBC News reported Thursday. Rigg appeared as Tyrell, starting in the third season in 2013, and nominated for an Emmy for guest actress in a drama for her work on the show in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
Rigg was also highly awarded for her other work. Appearing in 51 episodes of The Avengers from 1965 to 1968, the actress was Emmy nominated twice for her work, once in 1967 and another time in 1968. In 2000 she shared a special BAFTA Award with Honor Blackman, Joanna Lumley and Linda Thorson, with whom she had co-starred on the spy show. She was awarded an Emmy for her role as Mrs. Danvers in a TV adaptation of Rebecca in 1997 and was also nominated in 1975 for lead actress in a special program for In This House of Brede, and in 2002 for supporting actress in a miniseries or movie for Victoria & Albert.
Rigg was also a celebrated stage actress, who appeared on Broadway three times in Abelard and Heloise in 1971, a revival of Moliere's The Misanthrope in 1975 and a performance of Medea in 1994 — earning a Tony nomination each time for best actress in a play and winning for Medea. Rigg's roots are in the theater, training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art from 1955-57, and made her professional stage debut in Brecht's The Caucasian Chalk Circle in 1957. She went on to be a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company from 1959-64, touring the world as Cordelia in King Lear and appearing in a 1966 staging of Twelfth Night as Viola.
Her role in the James Bond film franchise was brief, but significant, playing Tracy Di Vicenzo in 1969's On Her Majesty's Secret Service, marrying Bond, played by George Lazenby, only to be murdered minions of villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Amid her lengthy list of credits also is hosting PBS' Masterpiece Mystery from 1989 to 2004 and starring in her own sitcom, NBC's Diana from 1973 to 1974.
Born Enid Diana Elizabeth Rigg in Doncaster, Yorkshire, England, the acclaimed actress would spend her early childhood in India before taking to the stage. In 1973, she married painter Menachem Gueffen but divorced him three years later. In 1982, she married theatrical producer Archibald Stirling but divorced him eight years later after his affair with actress Joely Richardson. Rigg is survived by her daughter, actress Rachael Stirling, 43.