RIP Diana Rigg…
Sad news today: the iconic English actress Diana Rigg has died at the age of 82, the BBC is reporting.
“She died peacefully early this morning. She was at home with her family who have asked for privacy at this difficult time,” her agent said.
Rigg was known for her roles in such classics as the TV show “The Avengers”, and she was the greatest, most empowered “Bond Girl” of all – when she starred in the James Bond 007 classic “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.”
She was most recently known for her role in “Game Of Thrones.”
Let’s take a look at some of her carer highlights, beginning with this fact – she is the ONLY Mrs. James Bond in cinema history:
Diana Rigg – 007’s Most Complicated “Bond Girl!”
The terrific Actress Diana Rigg was, to me, the greatest “Bond Girl” of all – in part because of the gravitas she brought to the role, and in part because of the complexities of the film she starred in…here is the story.
“On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” was the sixth James Bond movie, but there was a big difference with this film: it came right after Sean Connery’s decision to retire from the role. It was time for a new 007!
Unknown actor and model George Lazenby was chosen to play the most famous spy in the world, James Bond. That led to Diana Rigg’s casting as well…more on that, but first, here is the trailer:
In the film, James Bond meets and falls in love with Contessa Teresa di Vicenzo, played by Rigg. There is always a beautiful co-star known as a “Bond Girl” in each film, but this role was much different.
You see, this is the ONLY film where James Bond actually marries his “Bond Girl” – adding a powerful twist to the series, and it works because of how smart and empowered Rigg is in the role…a perfect match for 007…
Casting A Star Alongside 007!
Because there was a brand new 007 in the role – and a complete unknown, the Producers reached out to legendary Brigitte Bardot to star in the movie, but she was unavailable. So, they went with the popular Diana Rigg, who was in the smash TV series “The Avengers.”
Her “Avengers” Breakout!
In 1965, this relatively unknown stage Actress screen-tested for the part of John Steed’s female companion in the TV series “The Avengers” after the departure of Honor Blackman to play Pussy Galore in the 007 film “Goldfinger.”
That’s right, Rigg got the job from another “Bond Girl” and ended up becoming get most iconic one of all!
Rigg said one of the reasons for accepting the 007 film role was that she always wanted to be in an epic movie – and the Bond films were certainly that!
Also, the script for “OHMSS” was smart, sharp, funny and very emotional – with one of the most devastating endings of any Bond film – one reason “OHMSS” is considered by many to be the greatest Bond film of all!
Trouble In 007 Paradise!
While Diana Rigg is great in the film, apparently it wasn’t a smooth movie set…according to legend, the arrogant new Bond was rubbing Rigg the wrong way!
Allegedly, there were personality conflicts between the two. However, according to director Peter Hunt, these rumors are untrue and there were no such difficulties — or else they were minor!
The “Garlic” Myth!
Rumors of a rift on-set may have started with Rigg joking to Lazenby before filming a love scene. She was overheard yelling this at 007:
“Hey George, I’m having garlic for lunch. I hope you are!”
HA! Whatever the truth, Rigg is captivating in the role – showing brains, beauty, and a complexity not usually seen in the 007 films…when we meet her, she is contemplating suicide! Rigg brings gravitas to the movie, and hits very deep emotional notes that you don’t see in a Bond film – for that reason, she is my favorite “Bond Girl”, but she really is so much more – as important to the film’s plot as 007 himself…
Diana Rigg has had a long and distinguished career, and played serious roles AND comedy – even comedic horror with Vincent Price!
In an interview years later, Rigg said that working with the horror legend in “Theater Of Blood” was her most enjoyable movie experience, and the two of them do indeed have a blast in the film!
Yes, that’s Diana with the mustache and wig – and that’s Vincent Price sporting an Afro! Click here to see the trailer and more trivia for the film they did together!
RIP to Diana Rigg, an Icon who will be missed by fans of all ages…
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