Dame Diana Rigg, a legendary actress of the stage and screen who was known to millions as sharp-tongued Olenna “The Queen of Thorns” Tyrell on Game of Thrones, has died at age 82. “She died peacefully early this morning. She was at home with her family who have asked for privacy at this difficult time,” her agent said, via BBC.
Rigg was born in England in 1938, and after making her professional debut in a production of The Caucasian Chalk Circle in 1957, she starred in The Avengers (not the Marvel one) for three seasons as Emma Peel. That role, along with playing James Bond’s wife in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, brought her international television and movie fame, but she was also an esteemed theater actress. Rigg was nominated for three Tony Awards, winning once for her titular performance in Medea, over her lengthy career. She also won a BAFTA TV Award, Olivier Award, and Emmy Award, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that she played Lady Holiday in The Great Muppet Caper:
Rigg was a venerable figure in Britain’s entertainment industry who worked incessantly on stage, TV and film. She famously thumbed her nose at convention in her private life and in later years seemed to enjoy her status as a grande dame. Having a key role in the biggest TV series of the past decade was a fitting career capper.
That role: the Queen of Thorns.
"Tell Cersei, I want her to know it was me." indelible. pic.twitter.com/wgspc4TQYm
— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) September 10, 2020
Diana Rigg was the best.