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Thursday, September 10, 2020

Dame Diana Rigg, DBE 1938-2020

 _. Dame Diana Rigg, DBE, the great actress, has died aged 82.

She was born 20 July, 1938, daughter of Louis Rigg by his wife the former Beryl Helliwell; educated at Fulneck Girls' School, Pudsey, and RADA.

Career: [Stage] First appearance on stage in a RADA production, York Festival, at the Theatre Royal York, 1957; appeared in rep at Chesterfield and at York, joined the Royal Shakespeare Co at Stratford on Avon in 1959; first appearance in London at the Adlwych Theatre 1961 [2nd Ondine, Violanta and Princess Berthe in Ondine]; at the same theatre in rep [The Devils, Becket, The Taming of the Shrew], 1961; [Madame de Tourvel, The Art of Seduction], 1962; Royal Shakespeare Co, Stratford upon Avon, Apr 1962 [Helena in a Misummer Nights Dream, Bianca in the Taming of the Shrew, Lady Macduff in Macbeth, Adriana in The Comedy of Errors, Cordelia in King Lear]; subsequently appeared in the last production at the Aldwych, Dec 1962, followed by Adriana in the Comedy of Errors and Monica Stettler in The Physicists, 1963. Toured the provinces in the Spring of 1963, in a Midsummer Night's Dream; susequently appeared at Stratford and the Aldwych in Comedy of Errors, Dec 1963; again played Cordelia in King Lear, 1964, prior to touring for the British Council, in Europe, the USSR and the USA; during the tour she first appeared in New York [State Theatre] 1964, in same plays; Viola in Twelfth Night, Stratford, June, 1966; Heloise in Abelard and Heloise, Wyndham's, 1970;, also at the Atkinson, New York 1971; joined the National Theatre 1972, in Jumpers, 'Tis Pity She's a Whore, and Lady Macbeth in Macbeth 1972; The Misanthrope, 1973; Washington and New York, 1975; Phaedra Britannica 1975 [Plays and Players Award for Best Actress]; The Guardsman 1978; Pygmalian at the Albery, 1974, Night and Day, Phoenix 1978 [Players and Players Award, 1979]; Colette, USA, 1982; Heartbreak House, at the Haymarket 1983; Little Eyolf, at the Lyric Hammersmith 1985; Antony and Cleopatra at Chichester, 1985; Wildfire at the Phoenix, 1986; Follies, Shaftesbury, 1987; Love Letters, San Francisco, 1990; All for Love, Almeida 1991; Berlin Bertie, Royal Court 1992; Medea, Almeida 1992, transferred to Wyndham's 1993-4 [Evening Standard Drama Award], then New York 1994 [Tony Award]; Mother Courage, RNT, 1995; Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Almeida, 1996; Phedre and Britannicus, Albery, 1998; Humble Boy, RNT, 2001, &c.

Films include: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Assassination Bureau, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Julius Caesar, The Hospital, Theatre of Blood, A Little Night Music, The Great Muppet Caper, Evil Under the Sun [Film Actress of the Year Award, Variety Club of Gt Britain, 1983], A Good Man in Africa.

[TV] The Avengers [as Mrs Emma Peel 1965-68, Special Award, BAFTA 2000], Married Alive, Diana [US series], In This House of Brede [US], Three Piece Suite, The Serpent Son, Hedda Gabler, The Marqusie, Little Eyolf, King Lear, Witness of the Prosecution, Bleak House, Mother Love [BAFTA award], Unexplained Laughter, Moll Flanders [serial], Rebecca [as Mrs Danvers, Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress 1997], The Mrs Bradley Mysteries, Victoria and Albert, Game of Thrones, &c.

Was Chairman of Islington Festival; Member: Council, ABSA; Visiting Professor of Contemporary Theatre, Oxford University, 1999.

She was appointed CBE in 1988, and advanced to DBE in 1994.

Dame Diana married 1stly [div], Menachem Gueffen; married 2ndly, 25 March, 1982 [div 1993], as his 2nd wife, Archibald Hugh Stirling of Keir [born 18 Sept, 1941], scion of the Stirling-Maxwell baronets, and descended from the Lords Lovat, son of Lieutenant-Col William Joseph Stirling of Keir [1911-83], by his wife Susan Rachel Bligh [1916-83], scion of the Earls of Darnley, by whom she had issue, a daughter, the actress Rachael Stirling [born 30 May, 1977].


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