Dame Diana Rigg dies aged 82

CANNES, FRANCE - APRIL 06: Dame Diana Rigg attends her masterclass during the 2nd Canneseries International Series Festival : day two on April 06, 2019 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Arnold Jerocki/Getty Images)

Tributes are being paid to "icon" Dame Diana Rigg, who has died at the age of 82.

Best known for her roles in The Avengers, Game Of Thrones and On Her Majesty's Secret Service, the veteran star of stage and screen was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year.

She died peacefully at home, her daughter said.

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British actress Diana Rigg is Emma Peel, on the set of the TV Series The Avengers, created by Sydney Newman . (Photo by ABC Weekend Television/Associated British Corporation/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
Photo by: zz/Dennis Van Tine/STAR MAX/IPx 2018 6/10/18 Diana Rigg at The 72nd Annual Tony Awards held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. (NYC)
Actress Diana Rigg attends HBO's "Game of Thrones" fourth season premiere at Avery Fisher Hall on Tuesday, March 18, 2014 in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Actress Diana Rigg gives a thumbs-up sign backstage with her Tony award for best actress in a play for "Medea" at the 48th Annual Tony Awards ceremony at New York's Gershwin Theatre, Sunday, June 12, 1994. (AP Photo/Eric Miller)
British actress Diana Rigg smiles during a press conference, in London, in 1984. (AP Photo/Peter Kemp)
British actress Diana Rigg and actor Anthony Hopkins attend the opening of Macbeth at the National Theatre, London, September 20, 1972. Rigg plays Lady Macbeth opposite Hopkins' Macbeth in the Shakespearean tragedy. (AP Photo/Bob Dear)
FILE - In this Dec. 30, 1969 file photo, British actress Diana Rigg sits with U.S. actor Robert Culp during a news conference at the London Weekend Television studios, to promote their televised play called "Married Alive." Culp, the versatile actor who teamed with Bill Cosby in the groundbreaking comedy-adventure TV series "I Spy," died after collapsing Wednesday, March 24, 2010, outside his Hollywood home. He was 79. (AP Photo/Bob Dear, file)
File - In this January 10, 1969 file photo, Sean Connery's replacement as James Bond, George Lazenby is pictured with British actress Diana Rigg. The two are captured during takes of "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" at Schilthorn near Muerren, Switzerland. Though the Australian actor never played Bond again following disagreements with producers, his one outing is considered one of the best. The film's ending is perhaps the most memorable in the entire Bond series. The upcoming new Bond film "Spectre" starring Daniel Craig has its World Premiere on Monday Oct. 26, 2015, in London. (AP Photo/Bob Dear, File)
British actress Diana Rigg strokes the head of U.S. actor Telly Savalas on the set of the new James Bond film "On Her Majesty's Secret Service", at Pinewood Studios, England, January 13, 1968. (AP Photo/Bob Dear)
British actress Diana Rigg, wearing a nightdress, during a scene from the new film 'The Assassination Bureau' which is now being shot at Pinewood Studios, England, Feb. 1, 1968. In the film Miss Rico Portrays a determined girl reporter. (AP Photo/Staff/Bob Dear)
British actress Diana Rigg, who will play the part of 'Sonia Winter' in the new film 'The Assassination Bureau', is seen on set at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire, Feb. 5, 1968. (AP Photo/Bob Dear)
British actress Diana Rigg speaks as she receives the Icon Award during the opening ceremony of the 2nd edition of the Cannes International Series Festival (Canneseries) on April 5, 2019, at the Palais des Festival in Cannes, southern France. - CANNESERIES aims to highlight series from all over the world and to give an international voice to this increasingly popular and fiercely creative new art form. (Photo by Valery HACHE / AFP) (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP via Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - English actress Diana Rigg poses for a photo session during the 2nd edition of the Cannes International Series Festival (Canneseries) on April 5, 2019 in Cannes, southern France. (Photo by JOEL SAGET / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOEL SAGET/AFP via Getty Images)
CAMBRIDGE, CAMBRIDGESHIRE - OCTOBER 24: Dame Diana Rigg mixes a cocktail at The Cambridge Union on October 24, 2017 in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire. (Photo by Chris Williamson/Getty Images)
Stirling University Chancellor Dame Diana Rigg confers students at the start of her last week of graduation ceremonys held at the university. (Photo by Andrew Milligan - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
SYDNEY - MAY 28: IAN RICHARDSON OBE AND DAME DIANA RIGG AT THE SYDNEY PREMIERE OF THE ROYAL SHAKESPEARE COMPANY'S PRODUCTION OF 'THE HOLLOW CROWN' AT THE ROYAL THEATER IN SYDNEY. (Photo by Patrick Riviere/Getty Images).
NEW YORK CITY - JUNE 4: Actress Diana Rigg attends the 49th Annual Tony Awards on June 4, 1995 at Minskoff Theatre in New York City, New York. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY - JUNE 12: Actors Stephen Spinella, Diana Rigg, Donna Murphy, and Boyd Gaines attend the 48th Annual Tony Awards on June 12, 1994 at Gershwin Theatre in New York City, New York. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY - APRIL 20: Actress Diana Rigg attending 29th Annual Tony Awards on April 20, 1975 at the Winter Garden Theater in New York City, New York. (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
Dame Diana Rigg shares a joke with a colleague after being installed at Chancellor of the University of Stirling today (Monday) at Holy Rude Church, Stirling. Photo by Chris Bacon/PA*EDI* DIANA RIGG DIANA RIGG (Photo by Chris Bacon - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
David McCallum and Diana Rigg at a photocall for the BBC TV series 'Mother Love'. 17th October 1989. (Photo by Julian Brown/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
Actress Diana Rigg at home. (Photo by Ian Cook/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images)
Actress Diana Rigg photographed in September 1986.; (Photo by Monitor Picture Library/Photoshot/Getty Images)
1981: Lady Holiday, played by Diana Rigg, gives instructions to her secretary, Miss Piggy, in Jim Henson's 'The Great Muppet Caper'. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Actress Diana Rigg pictured reading a script, April 1978. (Photo by Jeremy Grayson/Radio Times/Getty Images)
(Original Caption) John Thaw and Diana Rigg, 1978. (Photo by © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
Comedians Eric Morecambe (right) and Ernie Wise filming a sketch with actress Diana Rigg for the Christmas special episode of the BBC television show 'The Morecambe and Wise Show', November 17th 1975. (Photo by Don Smith/Radio Times via Getty Images)
Actress Diana Rigg with Actor Patrick MacNee photographed in October 1975.; (Photo by Monitor Picture Library/Photoshot/Getty Images)
Portrait series of British actress Diana Rigg aka Lady Enid Diana Elizabeth Rigg, circa 1970s. (Photo by Helmut Reiss/United Archives via Getty Images)
Artist Menachem Gueffen (R) posing with his wife, actress Diana Rigg. (Photo by Marvin Lichtner/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images)
Artist Menachem Gueffen (R) and his wife, actress Diana Rigg, smiling at each other. (Photo by Marvin Lichtner/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images)
Honor Blackman (actress) with Christopher Lee (actor) and Diana Rigg (actress) in January 1974; (Photo by Monitor Picture Library/Photoshot/Getty Images)
Actress Diana Rigg photographed in January 1974.; (Photo by Monitor Picture Library/Photoshot/Getty Images)
Portrait taken on January 29, 1970 shows British actress Diana Rigg, best known for playing Emma Peel in the 1960s TV series "The Avengers". (Photo by - / CENTRAL PRESS / AFP) (Photo credit should read -/AFP via Getty Images)
UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 03: British actress Diana Rigg starred as Emma Peel in the TV series �The Avengers�. (Photo by SSPL/Getty Images)
Filming of new James Bond, on location in Estoril, Portugal, Wednesday 30th April 1969. The new film is titled On Her Majesty's Secret Service, and sees James Bond played by George Lazenby marry Tracy, Teresa Draco di Vicenzo, played by Diana Rigg. (Photo by Peter Stone/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
English actress Diana Rigg, UK, 14th March 1969. (Photo by Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
(Eingeschränkte Rechte für bestimmte redaktionelle Kunden in Deutschland. Limited rights for specific editorial clients in Germany.) *20.07.1938-Schauspielerin, Grossbritannienim Film 'James Bond - Im Geheimdienstihrer Majestät'- 1969 (Photo by ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
British actress Diana Rigg and Australian actor George Lazenby on the set of On Her Majesty's Secret Service, directed by British Peter R. Hunt. (Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
British actress Diana Rigg and Australian actor George Lazenby on the set of On Her Majesty's Secret Service, directed by Peter R. Hunt. (Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
British actress Diana Rigg was staying in Dusseldorf from 6 to 7 May 1968 for fashion and TV shootings. | usage worldwide (Photo by Wilhelm Bertram/picture alliance via Getty Images)
(Eingeschränkte Rechte für bestimmte redaktionelle Kunden in Deutschland. Limited rights for specific editorial clients in Germany.) MacNee, Patrick *06.02.1922- actor, UK - as "John Steed" from the television series "The Avengers" with his partner Diana Rigg as "Emma Peel" - 1968 (Photo by Jochen Harder/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
(Original Caption) 3/4 Length pose of Diana Rigg as Emma Peel in The Avengers. In this shot, Rigg is wearing a blue, one piece pants suit with cut out hips and an oversized pocketwatch and chain. Undated color photograph circa 1968.
(Eingeschränkte Rechte für bestimmte redaktionelle Kunden in Deutschland. Limited rights for specific editorial clients in Germany.) Rigg, Diana *20.07.1938- Actress, UK - portrait - 1968 (Photo by Jochen Harder/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
Oliver Reed embraces Diana Rigg at a London Hilton Hotel press reception for their latest film, 'The Assassination Bureau". (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)
British actress, Diana Rigg (1938 - ). Original Publication: People Disc - HK0108 (Photo by John Downing/Getty Images)
Kino. Die britische Schauspielerin Diana Rigg, 1960er Jahre. British actress Diana Rigg, 1960s. (Photo by FilmPublicityArchive/United Archives via Getty Images)
Promotional portrait of British actor Diana Rigg, as Emma Peel, posed in a fight stance for the television program, 'The Avengers,' circa 1966. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Courtesy of Getty Images)
Actress Diana Rigg on the Lotus stand at the London Motor Show at Earls Court, London in October 1965.; (Photo by Monitor Picture Library/Photoshot/Getty Images)
English actress Diana Rigg tied to the rail of a train filming a scene of television series 'The Avengers', UK, 4th April 1965. (Photo by R. Viner/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
British actress Diana Rigg wearing a blue tracksuit with green trim, holding a cigarette while seating in the driver's seat of a car during filming of British television series 'The Avengers', circa 1964. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Diana Rigg in "The Avengers" 1965 (Photo by RDB/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
British actors Diana Rigg and Patrick Macnee are Emma Peel and John Steed, on the set of the TV Series The Avengers, created by Sydney Newman . (Photo by ABC Weekend Television/Associated British Corporation/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
(Original Caption) Diana Rigg as Mrs. Emma Peel on the British spy series, "The Avengers." She is shown at the wheel of a car which is being pushed by co-star Patrick MacNee (John Steed). The television series originated in 1961, but ran in the U.S. from 1966 to 1969 on ABC. Color slide circa 1960s
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A statement from her agent Simon Beresford 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.

"She was the recipient of Bafta, Emmy, Tony and Evening Standard awards for her work on stage and screen.

He added: "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."

The Doncaster-born star's career included roles as the Royal Shakespeare Company, on Broadway where she would win three Tony Awards, on the West End, and in countless television shows and films.

She became a household name as secret agent Emma Peel opposite Patrick Macnee's John Steed in the British TV series The Avengers, starring in 51 episodes from 1965-1969. She appeared as Countess Tracy di Vicenzo in George Lazenby's 1969 James Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service, the only woman to ever marry 007.

Her other films included Julius Caesar (1970), Theatre of Blood (1973), and The Great Muppet Caper (1981). In 1990, Rigg won the Best Television Actress Bafta for her role as Helena Vasey in the BBC's Mother Love. She also received a special Bafta award in 2000 for The Avengers, which was shared with the series' other female stars Honor Blackman, Joanna Lumley and Linda Thorson.

In more recent years she sent herself up in an episode of Ricky Gervais' Extras, starred opposite Matt Smith in an episode of Doctor Who, and received two Emmy nominations playing the scheming Lady Olenna Tyrell in HBO's Game of Thrones.

She received nine Emmy nominations in her career, winning for her role as Mrs Danvers in 1997's Rebecca.

She was made a CBE in 1988 and a Dame in 1994 for services to drama.

She recently completed filming on Edgar Wright's upcoming horror film Last Night In Soho, her last film role, and Wright called her "blazingly talent, fiery & funny".

She was last seen on screen in Channel 5's All Creatures Great and Small reboot.

Dame Diana's daughter, actress Rachael Stirling, said: "My Beloved Ma died peacefully in her sleep early this morning, at home, surrounded by family.

"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".

Bafta also paid tribute to Dame Diana.

The British charity said on Twitter: "We're sad to hear of the passing of Dame Diana Rigg, Bafta-winner for her performance in Mother Love in 1990 and joint recipient of the Bafta Television Special Award in 2000 for The Avengers."

Playwrights Sir David Hare and Sir Tom Stoppard also paid their respects.

Sir David said: "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".

Sir Tom 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".

Mark Gatiss, who starred with Rigg in Doctor Who called her "flinty, fearless, fabulous".

Actor Samuel West said she "generally lived the hell out of everyone".

Theatre director Jonathan Kent said: "Diana Rigg's combination of force of personality, beauty, courage and sheer emotional power, made her a great classical actress – one of an astonishing generation of British stage performers.

"I was so fortunate to direct her in a series of great classical roles – Medea, Phedre – in Ted Hughes' version, specially written for her – Mother Courage and Dryden's Cleopatra. Her dazzling wit and that inimitable voice made her an unforgettable leading figure in British theatre."

She is survived by her daughter Stirling and grandson Jack.

- This article first appeared on Yahoo

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