Dame Enid Diana Elizabeth Rigg DBE was an English stage and screen actress. Some of her notable roles were as Emma Peel in the TV series The Avengers and Countess Teresa di Vicenzo in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Rigg had a successful career and life in theatre, making her professional stage debut in 1957 in The Caucasian Chalk Circle.
About Diana Rigg in brief
Dame Enid Diana Elizabeth Rigg DBE was an English stage and screen actress. Some of her notable roles were as Emma Peel in the TV series The Avengers and Countess Teresa di Vicenzo in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Rigg had a successful career and life in theatre, making her professional stage debut in 1957 in The Caucasian Chalk Circle, and joining the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1959. She made her Broadway debut in Abelard & Heloise in 1971. She performed the title role in Medea, both in London and New York, for which she won the 1994 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play. She appeared in numerous TV series and films, playing Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream ; Lady Holiday in The Great Muppet Caper and Arlena Marshall in Evil Under the Sun. She was made a CBE in 1988 and a Dame in 1994 for services to drama. In February 2018, she returned to Broadway to star in the non-singing role of Mrs Higgins in My Fair Lady. She commented: “I think it’s so special to be back on Broadway, having played Eliza Doolittle 37 years earlier at the Albery Theatre. I’m so happy to be here” She died in London, aged 80, on December 17, 2013. She is survived by her husband, Peter, and two daughters, Rachael Stirling and Emma. She died of cancer on December 18, 2013, at the age of 80.
She had been diagnosed with cancer of the stomach and pancreas, which had caused her to miscarry several times in the past. She also suffered from breast and stomach cancer, which she had battled for years. She suffered from a rare form of breast cancer known as biliary cirrhosis of the colon, which has left her unable to have children. She has also had a kidney transplant, but this has not been successful so far. Her husband has also suffered a kidney failure, which he has battled for many years. He has been in and out of hospital with the condition for more than a decade. He is now in remission, but he is still in a carer’s home in London. He also has a daughter, Rachele, who was born in Doncaster, West Riding of Yorkshire, in 1938. Her father was a railway engineer born in Yorkshire. She grew up in Bikaner, Rajasthan, India, where her father was employed as a railway executive. She spoke Hindi as her second language in those years, and was later sent back to England to attend a boarding school, Fulneck Girls School, in a Moravian settlement near Pudsey. She hated her boarding school where she felt like a fish out of water, but believed that Yorkshire played a greater part in shaping her character than India did.