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Actress Dame Diana Rigg, famous for roles including Emma Peel in TV series The Avengers and Olenna Tyrell in Game of Thrones, has died at the age of 82.

Her daughter, actress Rachael Stirling, said she died of cancer, after being diagnosed in March.

“She spent her last months joyfully reflecting on her extraordinary life, full of love, laughter and a deep pride in her profession,” she added.

Dame Diana also played the only woman who became Mrs James Bond.

She played Tracy, who married George Lazenby’s 007 in the 1969 film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

Lazenby said he was “so sad” to hear of her death, while Bond producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli also paid tribute.

The Game of Thrones official account also honoured her.

Dame Diana’s other recent roles included the Duchess of Buccleuch in ITV’s Victoria and Mrs Pumphrey in Channel 5’s new adaptation of All Creatures Great and Small.

Samuel West, who plays Siegfried in the show, said: “Doesn’t really make sense to think of her having died. She generally lived the hell out of everyone.”

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Stirling earlier announced the news by writing: “My Beloved Ma died peacefully in her sleep early this morning, at home, surrounded by family. I will miss her beyond words.”

Others paying tribute included Sir Tom Stoppard, who remembered her “luminous” talent, while fellow playwright Sir David Hare said the actress had a “dazzling change of direction in middle age as a great classical actor”.

‘She swept all before her’

He said: “When Emma Peel played Euripides’ Medea, Albee’s Martha and Brecht’s Mother Courage she swept all before her.”

Her four Tony Awards nominations resulted in a win for her searing portrayal in the leading role in the stage play Medea in 1994.

Game of Thrones star Nikolaj Coster Waldau, who played Jaime Lannister, said the actress “always raised the bar with her incredible talent, intelligence and wit. An absolute joy and honour to work with”.

Dame Diana Rigg in Game of Thrones
Olenna Tyrell made her final appearance in Game of Thrones in 2017

Sherlock writer and actor Mark Gatiss fondly recalled working with her, while Stephen Merchant remembered her in a scene from his show Extras.



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