Game Of Thrones Actress Dame Diana Rigg Dies Aged 82

by : Julia Banim on : 10 Sep 2020 14:36
Game Of Thrones Actress Dame Diana Rigg Dies Aged 82HBO/PA

Games of Thrones actress Dame Diana Rigg, has died at the age of 82.

Dame Diana was well-known for playing Lady Olenna Tyrell in Game of Thrones from 2013 to 2017, and is remembered as being one of the most iconic and beloved characters on the show.


Born on July 20, 1938, in Doncaster, Yorkshire, Dame Diana rose to fame during the 1960s for her portrayal of Emma Peel in the TV series The Avengers, and became known for her distinctive husky voice.

She had a number of brilliant roles throughout her lengthy acting career, portraying Countess Tracy di Vicenzo in James Bond movie On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969).


She is known to be the only Bond girl so far to have married the womanising 007, although her character died shortly after the wedding ceremony.

As well as her career in TV and film, Dame Diana was also well regarded for her roles in theatre productions, playing various parts with the Royal Shakespeare Company.


She won a number of awards throughout her career, including a BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress in British drama Mother Love (1990).

Dame Diana was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) by Queen Elizabeth II in 1994, on account of her significant contributions to theatre and film.

She enjoyed enormous success in later life as Lady Olenna, a sharp-tongued, devious but always likeable character, who delivered one of the most memorable lines in the entire show: ‘Tell Cersei. I want her to know it was me’.

Speaking about her enjoyment of playing bad characters during a 2019 BBC News interview, Dame Diana reflected:


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, they were very kind with their scripts.

Tributes have poured in for Dame Diana, including messages from those fortunate enough to have worked alongside her.


John Bradley, who played Samwell Tarly in Game of Thrones, tweeted:

Diana Rigg was just wonderful. But you all knew that already. Everybody did. Very sad news. #dianarigg

Foreign correspondent Annette Dittert tweeted:

I don’t think I would be who I am today without her. My biggest role model when I was little. A woman who could shoot and knew what she wanted. Nothing to be taken for granted in the late 70s. And also, she was a fantastic actress.

Our thoughts are with the family of Dame Diana Rigg at this difficult time.

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Film and TV, Game of Thrones, James Bond, Now


BBC News
  1. BBC News

    Why Dame Diana Rigg 'loves to be disliked'