Sadly, Dame Diana Rigg has passed away at the age of 82. While an entire generation may only know her from HBO’s Game of Thrones and, possibly, PBS’ Victoria, much of the world will no doubt remember the acting legend from her time on The Avengers alongside Patrick McNee as secret agent Emma Peel or in the James Bond film, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, where she holds the distinction of being only woman to have ever married James Bond, or from her time serving as the host of the PBS series, Mystery, from 1989 to 2003.
During her time as host of Mystery, she had the opportunity to introduce two series in which she was the star, Mother Love and The Mrs Bradley Mysteries. As PBS’ Masterpiece gets ready to celebrate it’s 50th year on television this coming January, what better way to kick things off than with the remake of All Creatures Great and Small starring Dame Diana Rigg as Mrs. Pumphrey.
In addition to All Creatures, the actress had recently wrapped filming on a new television adaptation of Black Narcissus and a role in Edgar Wright’s next film, Last Night in Solo, which will be released next year. Upon hearing news of her death, tributes and fond remembrances poured in from around the world from the likes of Mark Gatiss (Sherlock), James Bond and PBS’ Masterpiece.
“The MASTERPIECE team was saddened today by the news of Dame Diana Rigg’s death. She was an integral member of the MASTERPIECE family, including 15 years as the host of MYSTERY!, where her elegant introductions made an indelible impression on U.S. audiences. She won an Emmy for her performance in Rebecca, dazzled audiences in Mother Love, Bleak House and in her recent star turn in Victoria. In January, audiences will see her in All Creatures Great and Small in the role of the eccentric Mrs. Pumphrey. A grande dame of British drama, Diana was one of a kind and we will miss her.” — Susanne Simpson, Executive Producer, MASTERPIECE
“We are very sad to hear of the passing of Dame Diana Rigg, the legendary stage and screen actress who was much beloved by Bond fans for her memorable performance as Tracy di Vicenzo in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the only woman to have married James Bond.” pic.twitter.com/nqQCSg35oM
— James Bond (@007) September 10, 2020
It was my great joy and privilege to have known Diana Rigg. From three slightly hysterical months at the Old Vic in ‘All About Mother’ to writing The Crimson Horror for Diana and her wonderful daughter Rachael. Flinty, fearless, fabulous. There will never be another. RIP pic.twitter.com/2EGc4MVx0S
— Mark Gatiss (@Markgatiss) September 10, 2020
R.I.P., Dame Diana Rigg. Thank you for sharing six decades of your talents with the world. We will miss you always.