Diana Rigg

Diana Rigg


7/20/1938, Doncaster, Yorkshire, England.

Birth Name



Also Known As

Dame Diana Rigg
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Dame Diana Rigg is one of Britain's leading actresses. Although she will forever be remembered for her role as the iconic Mrs. Peel in the 1960's television series The Avengers her prolific work on the stage and television have brought her numerous awards, wide critical acclaim and firmly…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Diana recently explored her childhood in India under the Raj when she was the focus of a documentary, Empire's Children.

    • In February 2006, Diana starred in Honour at Wyndham's theatre in London as the wronged wife in a marriage that breaks up after 32 years.

    • In March 2006, Rigg joined fellow actors Judi Dench and Vanessa Redgrave in writng a letter to The Times newspaper. The letter requested that the London Victoria And Albert Theatre Museum remain open. The museum, which houses a collection of stage costumes such as Olivier's outfit from his Richard The Third performance, is threatened with closure because it has not raised £12 million for necessary redevelopment. The letter read:We are horrified that this important and world-renowned museum could be closed and its collection broken up... We fear this means that most of the exhibits would no longer be available to the public.

    • Diana finished filming her last episode of 'The Avengers' at the ITV Borehamwood Studios in Hertfordshire on August 31st, 1967.

    • Diana Rigg's height is five foot eight and a half inches.

    • Diana took a leading role in the 1986 West End production of Stephen Sondheim's musical 'Follies'.

    • During the late 1950s, Diana starred as the lead role in two Tom Stoppard plays; Dorothy Moore in 'Jumpers' and Ruth Carson in 'Night and Day'.

    • The West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds was opened by Dame Diana Rigg in October 1990. Yorkshire is the county she was born in.

    • Diana was a guest star in a 2003 episode of the BBC psychological thriller 'Murder in Mind.' She played the character Jill Craig, an apparant suicide victim.

    • Diana guest starred on the classic 'Morcombe and Wise Show' in December 1975. She appeared in a melodrama pastiche sketch entitled 'Wot Ernie Wrote.'

    • In October 2003, Diana won a £35,000 libel case against two British newspapers that had claimed she was 'an embittered woman who was retiring from acting.'

    • In the 2005 film verson of the novel 'Heidi', Diana played the role of Grandmamma.

    • In 1981 Diana starred in her only Muppet movie to date, 'The Great Muppet Caper'. In the film she plays Lady Holiday.

    • Whilst recording the second series of 'The Avengers' by day, Diana was also appearing in 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford at night.

    • Diana has one brother called Hugh. He is four years younger.

    • To play the character of Mrs Peel in The Avengers, Diana learned Kung Fu and Tai Chi.

    • The actress Elizabeth Shepherd was initially selected to play Steed's new partner following the departure of Honor Blackman in 'The Avengers.' Despite the fact that some filming had already taken place, when the directors saw Diana in 'Armchair Theatre' she was chosen instead.

    • When Diana joined 'The Avengers' she replaced Honour Blackman who had gone to play the role of Pussy Galore in the James Bond film 'Golfinger.' Diana also went on to play a 'bond girl' after leaving the show.

    • In a BBC radio interview, Diana said that she loved to go trout and salmon fishing in her spare time.

    • Diana won a Lifetime Achievement award at the Women in Film and Television Awards in December 2001.

    • Diana received a BAFTA Special Award in 2000 for her role as Emma Peel in 'The Avengers'. It was shared jointly with the three other actresses who starred in the show; Honor Blackman, Linda Thorson and Joanna Lumley.

    • In 2002, she was voted the 'Sexiest television star of all time' by 'TV Guide' magazine.

    • Diana was made Chancellor of Stirling University in October 1998. She is the first woman to hold the post.

    • In 1996, Diana received an Olivier Award nomination for her role in 'Mother Courage.'

    • In 1968, she appeared in a star studied production of Shakespeare's ' A Midsummer Night's Dream.' She played Helena, Dama Helen Mirren played Hermia and Ian Richardson played Oberon.

    • She played the role of Regan in a 1994 film version of ''King Lear'. Sir Laurence Olivier played the title role.

    • She won a Tony Award for her performance in the 1994 Broadway production of 'Medea',

    • In the 1969 James Bond film 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service' she played Teresa Di Vincenzo, the only woman to marry James Bond.

    • She has received two Honorary Degrees, one from Leeds University and one from Stirling University.

    • When Diana took over the presenter's role on 'Mystery, she replaced actor Vincent Price. She had starred with him in the horror film 'Theatre of Blood.' in 1973.

    • Diana was made a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) in 1987.

    • As a child growing up in India, she learned to speak Hindi.

    • In the early 1970's, Diana Rigg had her own comedy series called 'Diana'. Only 13 episodes were ever aired.

    • She has edited two books, 'So to the Land' and 'No Turn Unstoned: The Worst Ever Theatrical Reviews.

    • In 1997, Diana received an EMMY for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Mini Series or Movie for her performance as Mrs Danvers in the ITV production of 'Rebecca'.

    • The first play she performed at RADA was 'The Caucasian Chalk Circle' as Natella Abashwili.

    • The name Emma Peel, her character in 'The Avengers', is a pun on the phrase 'man appeal'.

    • Diana won a Best Actress BAFTA award in 1990 for her performance as Helena Vesey, the obsessive mother in the BBC's 'Mother Love'

    • She is the mother of 'Tripping the Velvet' star Rachael Stirling.

    • At the age of two months old, Diana moved to Jodhpur in northwest India because her engineer father had become the manager of the state railway.

    • Diana Rigg became a Dame of the British Empire in 1994 for her outstanding contribution to theatre and film.

  • Quotes

    • Diana: When I'm sixty-six, I hope I'm alive, I'm in one piece, that I am independent, physically and financially, that I've learned a great deal more than I have up until this stage and that I'm a raver of a sixty-seven-year-old. You know, fun to be with and joyous, and laughing a great deal. And, hopefully, a couple of lovers.

    • Diana: (Upon being voted 75th sexiest woman in the world by Playboy) I was thrilled, but of course it's terribly unfair! But for someone who's never consciously or actively promoted her sexuality, I think it's a hoot. Of course, they could look at me now and go, 'What?'

    • Diana: (On playing Cleopatra) I like her a lot. She is witty, self-aware, ironic, deeply passionate—all the things I admire in women.

    • Diana: (Upon being asked why the broadway run of Medea was closing so soon) Because I'm a very tired dame, and the voice is tired and I want to go home and have a bit of a rest.

    • Diana: Maybe at this stage in my career, it's from that younger generation that I have most to learn.

    • Diana: They do say that the profession gets increasingly difficult, but my career seems to have been inside out. I'm playing the biggest parts now that I'm older. That's probably right, because I wasn't ready for them before.

    • Diana: I hope there's a tinge of disgrace about me. Hopefully, there's one good scandal left in me yet.