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Acting legend Dame Diana Rigg dies at the age of 82


British actress Dame Diana Rigg, who became famous in James Bond and Game of Thrones, died today at the age of 82.

Her daughter Rachael Stirling said she died of cancer, which was diagnosed in March.

The British actress made a name for herself in the original TV series The Avengers in 1961 before appearing on the hit show All Creatures Great and Small in 1979 and more recently as cutthroat matriarch Lady Olenna Tyrell on HBO's Game of Thrones.

The star, who won the Bafta, Emmy, Tony Awards, was also hailed worldwide as a Bond girl on Her Majesty's Secret Service in 1969.

In the movie, she was only the second Bond girl to marry 007.

Last year Dame Diana announced that she had a “me too moment” early in her career from a “powerful” film director.

On Newsnight, the actress said she welcomed the rise of the #MeToo movement in recent years based on her own experience as a young actress.

Dame Diana – who also starred in the original 1961 television series The Avengers – also spoke about how she felt like a "lonely voice" after discovering she was paid less than her male co-stars.

Rigg, who had a long career in both film and stage, died peacefully at home with her family, her agent Simon Beresford confirmed.

Her co-stars have flooded social media with tributes to the "icon of theater, film and television".

Dianna Rigg as Oleanna Tyrell on HBO's hit series Game of Thrones worldwide

Rigg played alongside Patrick Mcnee in The Avengers in 1966

Rigg played alongside Patrick Mcnee in The Avengers in 1966

Rigg at the 72nd Annual Tony Awards in New York in June 2018

Rigg at the 72nd Annual Tony Awards in New York in June 2018

Rigg was the second Bond girl to marry 007 when she starred in James Bonds On Her Majesty & # 39; s Secret Service in 1969

Rigg was the second Bond girl to marry 007 when she starred in James Bonds On Her Majesty & # 39; s Secret Service in 1969

The British actress made a name for herself in successful TV shows such as The Avengers

The British actress made a name for herself in successful TV shows such as The Avengers

A statement by Simon Beresford said: “It is with great sadness that we announce that Dame Diana Rigg died peacefully this morning.

She was at home with her family who asked for privacy during this difficult time. Lady Diana was an icon of theater, film, and television.

& # 39; She received the Bafta, Emmy, Tony and Evening Standard Awards for her work on stage and on screen.

Dame Diana was a much loved and admired member of her profession, a force of nature who loved her work and her fellow actors. She will be missed very much. & # 39;

Sir David Hare and Sir Tom Stoppard paid tribute to Dame Diana.

Sir David said: “Diana Rigg had a dazzling change of direction in the Middle Ages as a great classical actor. When Emma Peel played Euripides & # 39; Medea, Albees Martha and Brecht's mother Courage, she swept everything in front of her & # 39 ;.

Sir Tom said, “Diana has been the most beautiful woman in the room for half her life, but she used to be called a soldier. She went to work for everyone with her sleeves rolled up and a smile. Her talent was brilliant.

In 2019, Dame Diana, who played Tyrell matriarch Olenna on Game Of Thrones, spoke to the BBC: “I had an experience that I'm not going to talk about, but when I was very young, with a director who did was very powerful.

“I just barely acknowledged that it happened. I think contempt is a pretty powerful tool. I would urge women to disdain whenever possible because it kind of scorches the gentleman. & # 39;

"I am everything for the women who speak up, and I am very happy that they now have a platform to speak up."

At Newsnight in 2019, Diana Rigg announced that she had suffered a “me too moment” at the beginning of her career from a “powerful” film director

At Newsnight in 2019, Diana Rigg announced that she had suffered a “me too moment” at the beginning of her career from a “powerful” film director

During her time with the Avengers – when she played Emma Peel from 1965 to 1968 – the star was stunned to find she was being paid significantly less than her male co-stars and threatened to quit unless the producers gave her one Raise.

Bosses on the show signed up thanks to the show's incredible following in America.

She added, “I was a lonely voice in the wilderness, no one supported me. Pat Macnee held his head well under the parapet when I stepped forward and said, "I think it's totally wrong that I'm paid less than the cameraman."

“Of course I was then painted as that kind of mercenary, stubborn and greedy and all the rest of it. But it felt unfair, so I spoke out.

"I've always thought that with equal pay you are far from being treated equally by a man."