Famous Actress Diana Rigg Smoking


Diana Rigg Smoking

About Diana Rigg : Dame Enid Diana Elizabeth Rigg, DBE (born 20 July 1938) is an English actress. She is probably best known for her portrayals of Emma Peel in The Avengers and Countess Teresa di Vicenzo in the 1969 James Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service. She is considered a sex symbol and an icon of 1960s feminism.

Rigg was born in Doncaster, West Riding of Yorkshire to Louis Rigg and Beryl Hilda Helliwell (1908–1981); her father was a railway engineer who had been born in Yorkshire. Between the ages of two months and eight years Rigg lived in Bikaner, India, where her father was employed as a railway executive. Rigg speaks fluent Hindi. She was then sent to a boarding school, the Moravian School in Fulneck, near Pudsey.

She disliked her boarding school, where she felt like a fish out of water, but she believes that Yorkshire played a greater part in shaping her character than India did. She trained as an actress at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

Rigg is particularly known for her role in the British 1960s television series The Avengers, where she played the secret agent Mrs. Emma Peel for 51 episodes between 1965 and 1967. Rigg tried out for the role of Emma Peel on a whim, without ever having seen the programme. Her career in film, television and the theatre has been wide-ranging, including roles in the Royal Shakespeare Company between 1959 and 1964. Her professional debut was in The Caucasian Chalk Circle in 1955, aged 17. Although she was hugely successful in the role of Emma Peel, she did not like the lack of privacy that television brought. She also did not like the way that she was treated by ABC Weekend TV.

After a dozen episodes she discovered that she was being paid less than a cameraman. For the second series she held out for a raise in pay from $150 a week to $450, but there was still no question of her staying for a third year. Patrick Macnee, her co-star in the series, noted that Rigg had later told him that she considered Macnee and her driver to be her only friends on the set. After leaving The Avengers she appeared as the title character in the telemovie The Marquise, which was based on a play by Noel Coward.

She also returned to the stage, including playing two Tom Stoppard leads, Ruth Carson in Night and Day and Dorothy Moore in Jumpers. A nude scene with Keith Michell in Abelard and Heloise led to a notorious description of her as 'built like a brick basilica with insufficient flying buttresses', by the acerbic critic John Simon. (Simon's line is often rendered incorrectly, with "mausoleum" in place of "basilica.")

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In 1982, she appeared in a musical called Colette, based on the life of the French writer and created by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt, but it closed during an American tour en route to Broadway. In 1986, she took a leading role in the West End production of Stephen Sondheim's musical Follies. On the big screen she became a Bond girl in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), playing Tracy Bond, James Bond's only wife. She said she took the role with the hope that she would become well known in America.

Throughout the filming of the movie, there were rumours that the experience was not a happy one, owing to a personality clash with Bond actor George Lazenby. The rumors may have arisen from a reporter witnessing her say "I'm having garlic for lunch George I hope you are!" before a love scene between the two. However, both Rigg and Lazenby have denied the claims, and both wrote off the garlic comment as a joke.

Her other films include The Assassination Bureau (1969), The Hospital (1971), Theatre of Blood (1973), In This House of Brede (1975) (based on the book by Rumer Godden) and A Little Night Music (1977). She also appeared as Lady Holiday in the 1981 film The Great Muppet Caper. In the 1980s, after reading stinging reviews of a stage performance she had given, Rigg was inspired to compile the worst theatrical reviews she could find into a tongue-in-cheek (and best-selling) compilation, entitled No Turn Unstoned.

In 1981 she appeared in a Yorkshire Television production of Hedda Gabler in the title role. In 1982, she received acclaim for her performance as Arlena Stuart Marshall in the film adaptation of Agatha Christie's Evil Under the Sun. In 1983, she appeared in a Granada Television production of King Lear, starring Laurence Olivier in the title role, as Regan, the king's treacherous second daughter. In 1985, she costarred with Denholm Elliot in a BBC production of Bleak House, a novel by Charles Dickens. In 1988, she played the Wicked Queen in the Cannon adaptation of Snow White.

 In 1989, she played Helena Vesey in Mother Love for the BBC; her portrayal of an obsessive mother who was prepared to do anything, even murder, to keep control of her son won Rigg the 1989 BAFTA for best actress. Also in 1989, Rigg appeared in the BBC adaptation of Alice Thomas Ellis' Unexplained Laughter, alongside Elaine Paige. In 1986, she presented the Scottish Television series Held in Trust, which focused on the work of the National Trust for Scotland and some of its most famous treasures.

 In the 1990s, she had triumphs with roles at the Almeida Theatre in Islington, including Medea in 1993 (for which she received the Best Actress Tony Award), Mother Courage in 1995 and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? in 1996. On television she has appeared as Mrs. Danvers in Rebecca (winning an Emmy Award in the process), as well as the mother-in-law in the PBS production Moll Flanders, and as the amateur detective Mrs. Bradley in The Mrs Bradley Mysteries. In 1992, she also played Mme. Colbert Chief Vendeuse to the fashion house of Dior in Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris.

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