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R.I.P. Diana Rigg, British Actress Who Played Lady Tyrell on Game of Thrones Dies at 82

on September 10, 2020, 10:03am

Diana Rigg, the Emmy- and Tony Award-winning actress who played Lady Olenna Tyrell on Game of Thrones, has died at the age of 82.

“She died peacefully early this morning,” her agent told BBC News. “She was at home with her family who have asked for privacy at this difficult time.”

A native of Doncaster, UK, who trained at the Royal Shakespeare Company, Rigg first came to fame in the 1960s on the BBC spy drama The Avengers. She appeared on 51 episodes, playing the role of secret agent Emma Peel. In 1969, she was cast as Tracy Bond, James Bond’s only on-screen wife, opposite George Lazenby in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

Beginning in 1971, Rigg moved to Broadway, where she earned the first of her three Tony nominations as the lead actress in Abelard and Heloïse. She received a second nomination four years later for The Misanthrope. It would take another 20 years, but Rigg would finally saw her name called at the Tonys in 1994 when she won Best Actress for her titular role in Medea.

Rigg’s other on-camera credits included 1971’s The Hospital, for which she received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress; the 1989 BBC drama Mother Love, for which she received a BAFTA for Best Television Actress; and PBS’s 1997 adaptation of  Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, which earned Rigg her first and only Emmy Award. She was also the longtime host of the true crime anthology Mystery.

In 2013, Rigg joined the cast of HBO’s Game of Thrones as Lady Olenna Tyrell, matriarch of the powerful House Tyrell. Her character famously devised a scheme to kill King Joffrey Baratheon during his wedding to her granddaughter, Margaery. For her efforts on Game of Thrones, Rigg received four Emmy nominations for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama.