LONDON — Dame Diana Rigg, who came to fame as Mrs. Peel on the iconic 1960s British thriller series The Avengers, died this week at her home at the age of 82. Born in 1938, she relocated as a toddler with her family to India and spoke English and Hindi by the time of their return after the Second World War. After studies at a Moravian Church boarding school and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, she joined the Royal Shakespeare Co.
In 1965, she screen-tested for The Avengers opposite Patrick Macnee, as a replacement for Honor Blackman, who was departing to star in Goldfinger. In the 1970s she had several leading West End theatre roles and she continued acting until late in life. Rigg won an Emmy for her role in a 1997 mini-series adaptation of Daphne DuMaurier’s Rebecca and garnered another nomination for a recurring role in Game of Thrones from 2013 to 2017. She was named a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1990.