Dame Diana Rigg, of Game of Thrones and The Avengers, Dead at 82

Diana Rigg

Dame Diana Rigg, an Emmy- and Tony Award-winning actress best known to TV audiences as Game of Thrones‘ Lady Olenna Tyrell and The Avengers‘ Agent Emma Peel, has died at the age of 82.

“She died peacefully early this morning,” her agent said in a statement to the BBC. “She was at home with her family who have asked for privacy at this difficult time.”

Rigg made her debut as Thrones‘ feisty, cunning Queen of Thorns in Season 3’s second episode, “Dark Wings, Dark Words.” All told, she appeared in 18 episodes throughout four seasons, with her final appearance in Season 7’s third installment, “The Queen’s Justice.” The role earned her three consecutive Emmy nominations for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series, from 2013 through 2015.  

Her breakout role came in 1965 when she was cast as the aforementioned Agent Peel on the British espionage drama The Avengers, appearing in Series 4-6. Her performance earned her a pair of Emmy nominations for Best Actress, in 1967 and 1968.

She finally grabbed Emmy gold in 1997 for Best Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or TV movie for her part as Mrs. Danvers in the PBS limited series Rebecca. Additional accolades included a BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress for her work in the 1990 BBC miniseries Mother Love, and a Tony Award for Best Actress for the 1994 Broadway play Medea.

In addition to GoT, Rigg’s recent TV credits include Detectorists, Victoria and You, Me and the Apocalypse. She’ll last appear in the BBC/FX miniseries Black Narcissus (based on the 1939 novel by Rumor Godden), which is set to premiere later this fall (exact date TBA).