‘A force of nature’: Actress Dame Diana Rigg dies aged 82

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Rigg was diagnosed with cancer in March and died early this morning.

ACTRESS DAME DIANA Rigg has died at the age of 82, her agent has said.

Rigg was diagnosed with cancer in March and died early this morning. 

She was best known for her roles in The Avengers, Game of Thrones and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. 

A statement from Simon Beresford today said: “It is with tremendous sadness that we announce that Dame Diana Rigg died peacefully early this morning.

“She was at home with her family who have asked for privacy at this difficult time. Dame Diana was an icon of theatre, film, and television.

“Dame Diana was a much loved and admired member of her profession, a force of nature who loved her work and her fellow actors. She will be greatly missed.”

Rigg had been the recipient of Bafta, Emmy, Tony and Evening Standard Awards for her work on stage and screen.

Her daughter, actress Rachael Stirling, paid tribute to her in a statement this afternoon.

“My Beloved Ma died peacefully in her sleep early this morning, at home, surrounded by family,” Stirling said.

“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.”

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Playwrights Sir David Hare and Sir Tom Stoppard have also paid tribute to the actress.

“Diana Rigg had a dazzling change of direction in middle age as a great classical actor. When Emma Peel played Euripides’ Medea, Albee’s Martha and Brecht’s Mother Courage she swept all before her,” Hare said.

Stoppard said: “For half her life Diana was the most beautiful woman in the room, but she was what used to be called a trooper. She went to work with her sleeves rolled up and a smile for everyone. Her talent was luminous.”

Includes reporting by Press Association

Diana Rigg in March 2014

Diana Rigg in March 2014

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