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 Posted:   Sep 10, 2020 - 7:12 AM   
 By:   johnjohnson   (Member)

 Posted:   Sep 10, 2020 - 7:21 AM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

"Every day a little death..." frown

 Posted:   Sep 10, 2020 - 7:21 AM   
 By:   BillCarson   (Member)

Noooo. Ladies and gentlemen....mrs Peel.

And she called Joffrey a wonderful word. wink

Yep howard, another one gone.frown
Great actress, brilliant delivery.

 Posted:   Sep 10, 2020 - 7:23 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Diana Rigg's onscreen chemistry with Patrick Macnee is one of, if not THE best of a couple ever on TV.

 Posted:   Sep 10, 2020 - 7:23 AM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

Yep howard, another one gone.frown

"Every day a little death..." frown

She sang that in A Little Night Music. frown

PEEL: Back and forth.
STEED: Forth and back. A prodigious foe!

Have NEVER forgotten that exchange.

 Posted:   Sep 10, 2020 - 7:36 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

Never saw The Avengers but I know Mrs. Rigg's was an iconic actor. RIP.

 Posted:   Sep 10, 2020 - 8:17 AM   
 By:   Rameau   (Member)

She was just bloody fantastic, a real class act. Channel 4 report she was diagnosed with cancer in March. She was quite busy in the last few years, great in Game Of Thrones.

 Posted:   Sep 10, 2020 - 8:21 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

I also loved her in the regrettably short-lived Mrs Bradley Mysteries, set in the 1920s.

 Posted:   Sep 10, 2020 - 8:28 AM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)

Went through an Avengers jag in the 1990s when I got a bunch of VCR tapes for no money at a yard sale.


 Posted:   Sep 10, 2020 - 8:30 AM   
 By:   Ian J.   (Member)

A classy lady if ever there was one, and sexy to boot. R.I.P. Ms Rigg.

 Posted:   Sep 10, 2020 - 9:17 AM   
 By:   Peter Greenhill   (Member)

Very sad news. I saw her interviewed at BFI Southbank in London in October 2015. She was frail then and was helped on and off the stage by her daughter. What was so endearing about the interview was how she turned towards the audience and engaged with us as she answered questions.

May she Rest In Peace.

 Posted:   Sep 10, 2020 - 9:22 AM   
 By:   BillCarson   (Member)

Definitely a lady who oozed class n charm, Peter.

 Posted:   Sep 10, 2020 - 9:52 AM   
 By:   Peter Greenhill   (Member)

Definitely a lady who oozed class n charm, Peter.

For sure, Bill. Also, in 1970, I was a student in Birmingham and she was in town appearing in Abelard and Heloise, which at the time was quite controversial because of the nudity in the production. One afternoon I was heading up the walkway towards New Street Station shopping centre. I was suddenly aware of a stunning looking woman coming towards me. She wore purple tinted glasses and being Winter, she wore a fur coat. She was carrying elegant looking shopping bags, the type obtained from classy clothes shops. It was only when we'd passed each other that I realised she was Diana Rigg. I turned and stared as she disappeared into the city crowds.

 Posted:   Sep 10, 2020 - 10:01 AM   
 By:   Peter Greenhill   (Member)

 Posted:   Sep 10, 2020 - 10:08 AM   
 By:   eriknelson   (Member)

RIP. Growing up during the 60s, THE AVENGERS was "must see TV." Diana Rigg was sensational and her role was very different from most women on TV series. She was confident and self sufficient, unlike for example Marlo Thomas in THAT GIRL. The only other actress I can think of who came close in those days was Anne Francis as a private eye in HONEY WEST.

Since then I've had the privilege to see her on the stage in London. She was so versatile and was a class act until the end.

 Posted:   Sep 10, 2020 - 10:14 AM   
 By:   steffromuk   (Member)

Very sad news. I saw her interviewed at BFI Southbank in London in October 2015. She was frail then and was helped on and off the stage by her daughter. What was so endearing about the interview was how she turned towards the audience and engaged with us as she answered questions.

May she Rest In Peace.

 Posted:   Sep 10, 2020 - 10:16 AM   
 By:   Nightingale   (Member)

I have watched OHMSS SO many times in the past couple months (or at least my favorite parts of the film) I have lost count. Looks like another viewing this weekend.

 Posted:   Sep 10, 2020 - 11:12 AM   
 By:   Commodore   (Member)

Such a bummer. I have many found memories of watching her in The Avengers, and On Her Majesty's Secret Service. R.I.P. Dame Diana Rigg!

 Posted:   Sep 10, 2020 - 11:34 AM   
 By:   Eric Paddon   (Member)

Just a few days ago I watched the new Blu-Ray release of "Evil Under The Sun" which was my first introduction to her when I saw that theatrically in early 1982 (OHMSS and "Avengers" came later for me). Even when playing the bitchy murder victim, it was easy to see how captivating a presence she was.

 Posted:   Sep 10, 2020 - 12:10 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

After Honor Blackman left “The Avengers” in 1964, when she was cast in GOLDFINGER, the show was sold to the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) in 1965, and “The Avengers” became one of the first British series to be aired on prime-time U.S. television. The ABC network paid the then-unheard-of sum of $2 million for the first 26 episodes. The average budget for each episode was reportedly £56,000, which was high for the British industry.

Star Patrick Macnee’s new female partner, “Mrs. Emma Peel” (Diana Rigg,) debuted in Britain in October 1965. This “fourth series” of the show aired in the U.S. from March to the beginning of September 1966. This was Rigg’s first exposure on screen in America, after having appeared solely in British television productions (mostly filmed plays) for half a decade.

Patrick Macnee and Diana Rigg in “The Avengers”

The name of Rigg’s character derived from a comment by writers, during development, that they wanted a character with "man appeal." In an early attempt to incorporate this concept into the character's name, she was called "Samantha Peel," shortened to the awkward "Mantha Peel." Eventually, the writers began referring to the idea by the verbal shorthand "M. Appeal," which gave rise to the character's ultimate name. Emma Peel, whose husband went missing while flying over the Amazon, retained the self-assuredness of Honor Blackman’s “Dr. Cathy Gale,” combined with superior fighting skills, intelligence and a contemporary fashion sense.

After more than 60 actresses had been auditioned, the first choice to play the role was Elizabeth Shepherd. However, after filming one and a half episodes (the pilot, "The Town of No Return", and part of "The Murder Market"), Shepherd was released. Her on-screen personality was deemed less interesting than that of Blackman's Gale, and it was decided that she was not right for the role. Another 20 actresses were auditioned before the show's casting director, Dodo Watts, suggested that producers Brian Clemens and Albert Fennell check out a televised drama featuring the relatively unknown Rigg (she had earlier guested in an episode of “The Sentimental Agent” that Clemens had written). Rigg auditioned for the role on a whim, without ever having seen the show. Rigg's screen test with Macnee showed that the two immediately worked well together.

A prologue was added to the beginning of all the fourth-series episodes for the American broadcasts. This was to clarify some initial confusion audiences had regarding the characters and their mission. In the opener, a waiter holding a champagne bottle falls dead onto a human-sized chessboard, a dagger protruding from a target on his back. Steed and Mrs. Peel (dressed in her trademark leather catsuit) walk up to the body as the voice-over explains: "Extraordinary crimes against the people, and the state, have to be avenged by agents extraordinary. Two such people are John Steed, top professional, and his partner Emma Peel, talented amateur. Otherwise known as The Avengers." During this voice-over, Steed pours two drinks from the wine bottle and Mrs. Peel replaces her gun in her boot. They clink glasses and depart together as the screen fades to black and the opening titles begin.

“The Avengers” prologue

“The Avengers” fourth season opening credits

“The Avengers” was the spring-summer replacement for ABC’s cancelled series “Ben Casey” on Monday nights at 10 PM. The show fared well against NBC’s “Run for Your Life” and CBS’s “Art Linkletter's Hollywood Talent Scouts.”

Series writer Brian Clemens noted in an interview the sexual chemistry that particularly existed between Steed and Emma Peel, and the common question of "Will they ever go to bed together?" Clemens' attitude toward the characters was that they already had done, and this was the next day. Patrick Macnee and Dame Diana Rigg confirmed later in interviews that they had decided their characters had a casual sexual relationship, "but just didn't dwell on it."

Diana Rigg was the first person ever to do Kung Fu on Western television screens. In 1965, Ray Austin went to his producers and said, "Listen, I want to do this thing called Kung Fu." They said "Kung what?" and insisted that Emma, like her predecessor, stick to judo. Instead, Austin secretly taught Rigg Kung Fu. It wasn’t until the Fall of 1966 that Bruce Lee began appearing on “The Green Hornet.”

After one filmed series (of 26 episodes) in black and white, “The Avengers” began filming in color for the fifth series in 1966, even though it would be three years before Britain's ITV network began full color broadcasting. The first 16 episodes of this series were broadcast concurrently in the U.S., in color, and the UK, in black and white, from January to May 1967. Eight further episodes were broadcast in the UK beginning in late September, while these episodes were withheld in the U.S. until early 1968.

ABC brought back “The Avengers” as the winter replacement for the cancelled series “Twelve O’Clock High” on Friday nights at 10 PM. There, it faced off against NBC’s Laredo” and the “CBS Friday Night Movie” (the 17th highest-ranked show of the season).

“The Avengers” fifth season opening

According to Patrick Macnee in his book The Avengers and Me, Diana Rigg disliked wearing leather and insisted on a new line of fabric athletic wear for the fifth series. Alun Hughes, who had designed clothing for Rigg's personal wardrobe, was suggested by the actress to design Emma Peel's "softer" new wardrobe. In the U.S., TV Guide ran a four-page photo spread on Rigg's new "Emmapeeler" outfits (10–16 June 1967). Eight tight-fitting jumpsuits, in a variety of bright colors, were created using the stretch fabric crimplene.

The final eight of the Diana Rigg episodes aired beginning in January 1968, as a replacement for the cancelled series “Custer.” The competition on CBS was “Lost In Space,” then in its final season, and on NBC the popular “The Virginian” held sway (the #14 ranked show for the season).

Diana Rigg was initially unhappy with the way she was treated by the show's producers. During her first series (#4 for the show), she learned that she was being paid less than the cameraman. She demanded a raise to put her more on a par with her co-star, or she would leave the show. The producers gave in, thanks to the show's great popularity in the US. At the end of the fifth series in 1967, Rigg left to pursue other projects.

No farewell scenes for Emma Peel had been shot before Diana Rigg left the series. After Linda Thorson was cast as the new female lead, “Tara King,” Rigg was recalled for episode "The Forget-Me-Knot", through which Emma acts as Steed's partner as usual. Rigg also filmed a farewell scene for Emma that appeared as the tag scene of the episode. It was explained that Emma's husband, Peter Peel, was found alive and rescued, and she left the British secret service to be with him. Emma visits Steed to say goodbye, and while leaving she passes Tara on the stairway giving the advice that "he likes his tea stirred anti-clockwise." Steed looks out of the window as a departing Emma enters the Bentley driven by Peter, who from a distance seems to resemble Steed (and was played by Steed's regular stunt double, with bowler hat and umbrella).

For both of her seasons on “The Avengers,” Diana Rigg was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Series. In both years, she lost to Barbara Bain for “Mission: Impossible.”

When asked in June 1982 which female lead was his favorite, Patrick Macnee declined to give a specific answer. "Well, I'd rather not say. To do so would invite trouble", he told TV Week Magazine. Macnee did provide his evaluation of the female leads. Diana Rigg was "One of the world's great actresses. A superb comedienne. I'm convinced that one day she'll be Dame Diana." (His prediction came true in 1994.) Rigg and Macnee remained lifelong friends.

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