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Game of Thrones star dies

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Veteran actress Diana Rigg – best known for playing Emma Peel in The Avengers and more recently as Lady Olenna Tyrell in Game of Thrones – passed away “peacefully” at the age of 82 on Thursday morning, her representative has confirmed.

This image released by HBO shows Natalie Dormer, left, and Diana Rigg in a scene from Game of Thrones. Picture: AP Photo HBO, Macall B. Polay

Veteran actress Diana Rigg – best known for playing Emma Peel in The Avengers and more recently as Lady Olenna Tyrell in Game of Thrones – passed away “peacefully” at the age of 82 on Thursday morning, her representative has confirmed.

Her agent said: “She died peacefully early this morning. She was at home with her family who have asked for privacy at this difficult time.”

Rigg, whose full name was Enid Diana Elizabeth Rigg, made her professional debut in a production of The Caucasian Chalk Circle as part of the 1957 York Festival and went on to join the Royal Shakespeare Company, where she appeared in a number of productions before landing her breakthrough role in The Avengers in 1965.

But the actress quit the role after just two years because she disliked the fame of being on TV and missed working on stage.

Despite her reluctance to be in the public eye, Rigg moved onto the big screen to star in James Bond movie On Her Majesty’s Secret Service opposite George Lazenby, with her character Tracy becoming the first and only woman to marry the suave spy.

In 1990, she won a BAFTA award for her portrayal of an obsessive parent in BBC drama Mother Love, and accepted a Tony Award for Medea four years later, the same year she received her damehood.

She was also awarded an Emmy for her role as Mrs. Danvers in a TV adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca and was nominated by the same organisation for her Game of Thrones role.

Her most recent movie, Last Night in Soho, had been scheduled for release this month but in May, it was pushed back to April 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In 2017, Rigg, who was previously married to Menachem Gueffen from 1973 to 1976 and then Archie Stirling, the father of her daughter Rachael, until 1990, underwent heart surgery after falling seriously ill.