Simonne Yates

Simonne Yates

Published: 14 Oct 2023


Diana Rigg was an iconic British actress who captivated audiences with her talent, charm, and exceptional beauty. From her breakthrough role as Emma Peel in the 1960s television series “The Avengers” to her unforgettable portrayal of Lady Olenna Tyrell in “Game of Thrones,” Rigg left an indelible mark on the entertainment industry.

But there’s so much more to Diana Rigg than just her on-screen success. Behind the scenes, she led an extraordinary life filled with fascinating stories and accomplishments. In this article, we delve into 19 extraordinary facts about Diana Rigg that showcase her impressive career, personal achievements, and the lasting impact she has had on the world of entertainment.

Table of Contents

Diana Rigg’s Birth and Early Life

Diana Rigg, born on July 20, 1938, in Doncaster, Yorkshire, England, had an exceptional upbringing that laid the foundation for her remarkable career in the entertainment industry.

Diana Rigg’s Breakthrough Role as Emma Peel

Diana Rigg achieved international recognition for her role as Emma Peel in the popular 1960s British television series, “The Avengers.” Her portrayal of the smart and stylish secret agent captivated audiences and solidified her status as a rising star.

Diana Rigg’s Iconic Role as Tracy Bond

In 1969, Diana Rigg played the role of Tracy Bond in the James Bond film “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.” Her performance as the only woman to marry James Bond left a lasting impact on the franchise and is still remembered fondly by fans.

Diana Rigg’s Stage Career

Aside from her success on screen, Diana Rigg had a distinguished stage career. She showcased her immense talent in various theatrical productions, including her Tony Award-winning performance in the play “Medea” in 1994.

Diana Rigg’s Knighthood

In 1994, Diana Rigg was honored with a damehood for her contributions to the performing arts. She was officially titled Dame Diana Rigg, a recognition of her exceptional talent and commitment to her craft.

Diana Rigg’s Role on “Game of Thrones”

Diana Rigg gained a new generation of fans with her portrayal of Olenna Tyrell, also known as the “Queen of Thorns,” in the critically acclaimed television series “Game of Thrones.” Her character’s wit and cunning made her a fan favorite until her character’s demise in the show’s seventh season.

Diana Rigg’s Voice Acting Career

Not limited to live-action roles, Diana Rigg also ventured into the world of voice acting. One of her notable voice roles was as Mrs. Danvers in the animated adaptation of “Rebecca” in 1997.

Diana Rigg’s Contribution to Charity

Diana Rigg was actively involved in various charitable causes, including her role as an ambassador for UNICEF, championing children’s rights worldwide.

Diana Rigg’s Influence on Fashion

Throughout her career, Diana Rigg’s impeccable fashion sense and iconic style inspired many. Her elegant and sophisticated wardrobe continues to be referenced by designers and fashion enthusiasts to this day.

Diana Rigg’s Theatrical Return as Mrs. Higgins

In 2018, Diana Rigg returned to the stage to portray Mrs. Higgins in the Broadway production of “My Fair Lady.” Her exceptional performance once again received critical acclaim and delighted audiences.

Diana Rigg’s Accomplishments as an Author

In addition to her acting endeavors, Diana Rigg also explored her writing skills. She authored several books, including her memoir titled “No Turn Unstoned: The Worst Ever Theatrical Reviews.”

Diana Rigg’s Honorary Degrees

Diana Rigg received multiple honorary degrees from esteemed universities, recognizing her contributions to the arts and her impact on the entertainment industry.

Diana Rigg’s Legacy

Diana Rigg’s legacy as a talented and versatile actress continues to inspire generations of performers. Her impact on the entertainment industry is immeasurable.

Diana Rigg’s Personal Life

Outside of her career, Diana Rigg had a rich personal life. She was married twice and had a daughter named Rachael Stirling, who is also an accomplished actress.

Diana Rigg’s Awards and Accolades

Throughout her illustrious career, Diana Rigg received numerous awards and accolades, including BAFTA nominations, a Primetime Emmy Award, and a Screen Actors Guild Award.

Diana Rigg’s Love for Gardening

In her free time, Diana Rigg enjoyed gardening and had a deep appreciation for nature. She found solace and joy in tending to her beautiful garden.

Diana Rigg’s Versatility as an Actress

From playing strong and independent characters to portraying complex and multifaceted roles, Diana Rigg showcased her versatility as an actress throughout her career.

Diana Rigg’s Influence on Future Actresses

Diana Rigg served as an inspiration for countless aspiring actresses, who continue to look up to her as a role model for talent, grace, and professionalism.

Diana Rigg’s Lasting Legacy

Diana Rigg’s impact on the world of entertainment and her lasting contribution to the arts will forever be remembered and celebrated.


In conclusion, Diana Rigg was more than just a talented actress – she was a true icon of the entertainment industry. From her breakthrough role as Emma Peel in “The Avengers” to her unforgettable portrayal of Lady Olenna Tyrell in “Game of Thrones,” Rigg’s contributions to film and television were immeasurable. Her magnetic presence, impeccable acting skills, and timeless beauty captivated audiences around the world.Beyond her on-screen achievements, Rigg was also a dedicated advocate for various charitable causes, showcasing her compassionate nature and generous spirit. Her impact on the industry will continue to be felt for generations to come.Diana Rigg’s legacy will forever be cherished, as she remains an inspiration for aspiring actors and a beloved figure in the hearts of fans worldwide. Her extraordinary talent, versatility, and undeniable charisma have solidified her status as one of the greatest actresses of her time.Rest in peace, Diana Rigg, and thank you for the extraordinary memories.


Q: What were some of Diana Rigg’s most iconic roles?
A: Diana Rigg is best known for her roles as Emma Peel in “The Avengers” and Lady Olenna Tyrell in “Game of Thrones.”Q: Was Diana Rigg involved in any philanthropic work?
A: Yes, Diana Rigg was a dedicated advocate for various charitable causes throughout her life.Q: What awards did Diana Rigg win during her career?
A: Diana Rigg was the recipient of numerous accolades, including Emmy, Tony, and BAFTA Awards.Q: Did Diana Rigg have any other talents besides acting?
A: Yes, Diana Rigg was also an accomplished stage actress and had a successful career in theater.Q: What is Diana Rigg’s legacy?
A: Diana Rigg’s legacy is her extraordinary talent, versatility, and timeless performances that continue to inspire and entertain audiences worldwide.