Rachel Stirling has released a statement revealing that her mother, the famed actress Diana Rigg, passed away this morning. Rigg was reportedly diagnosed with cancer in March of this year, and it took her life today. She has already been honored by the official social media accounts of Game of Thrones, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service co-star George Lazenby, and James Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, among others. Rachel’s statement reads as follows:
“My Beloved Ma died peacefully in her sleep early this morning, at home, surrounded by family. She died of cancer diagnosed in March, and spent her last months joyfully reflecting on her extraordinary life, full of love, laughter and a deep pride in her profession. I will miss her beyond words.”
I must admit that celebrity deaths don’t usually have much of an impact on me. This was especially true prior to the 2017 passing of Roger Moore, who is also, of course, known for starring in the James Bond franchise. I usually feel sadness and sympathy for those close to them, and regret that we won’t see them in any new films/music, etc., but nothing more. However, as with Moore, this one hurts. I knew Diana Rigg first as Tracy Bond, as I hadn’t seen any of her TV work and grew up with the Bond films. She’s one of my personal favorite Bond Girls, and holds a special place as the only one he ever married, with only one other arguably coming close.
Along with a great many others, I also loved her turn as Lady Olenna Tyrell in Game of Thrones. I’ll have to look forward to seeking out more of her work, as she’s considered a noteworthy classical actress in addition to appearing in more genre-geared fare, notably 60s British spy series The Avengers. Regardless, she was one of the greats, and she will be missed.
RIP Dame Diana Rigg, July 20, 1938-September 10, 2020