Diana Rigg Diana Rigg fans, rejoice: She’s back with an Emmy nomination — 46 years after her first.
Diana Rigg in “The Avengers”
Fans of action ladies might remember Rigg in the 1960s British series “The Avengers” (not the Marvel comic book). As the comely amateur British spy Emma Peel, the Shakespearean-trained Rigg dispatched villains with karate chops while wearing sinewy leather outfits or sleek Pierre Cardin-designed athletic gear. Her partnership with the dapper John Steed, played by Patrick Macnee, still holds up brilliantly.
Rigg received Emmy nods for Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Series in 1967 and 1968. Her gap’s not enough, though, to beat record-holder Betty White at 61 years.
Rigg also played another unique role: She married James Bond in “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.” The 1969 film isn’t part of the MGM canon, but nevertheless wins kudos for a pretty awesome Bond portrayal by George Lazenby and of course Rigg’s hypnotic turn as the only one worth a ring.
No wonder Rigg was an easy prediction to get an Emmy nomination as Lady Olenna Tyrell. Even author George R.R. Martin was giddy when Dame Rigg joined the cast as the Queen of Thorns. “She’s a legend, she’s a legend,” gushed Martin at Comic-Con 2012. “Fantastic show, brilliantly written, brilliant acted and and she was the hottest woman on television or like — in the world — and I was madly in love with her… like all the other boys of my generation.”
Rigg’s nomination is for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series. Her delicious take as Lady Olenna was so commanding, writers made her role bigger. Besides her work in “The Avengers,” she has received three other primetime Emmy nods.
Here’s just one of many great “Avengers” episodes with Rigg.