Dame Diana Rigg

British Actresses You Should Know: Dame Diana Rigg

 Diana Rigg as the Duchess of Buccleuch and Bebe Cave as Wilhelmina Coke  (Image courtesy of ©ITVStudios2017 for MASTERPIECE)

When you hear the name Dame Diana Rigg, what comes to mind? The talented lady spy Emma Peel from The Avengers? The one and only Bond girl to marry 007 himself from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service? Or perhaps famous British fashion designer and jewel heist victim, Lady Holiday, from The Great Muppet Caper?

Well, Dame Diana has been in the acting game for over six decades and, in my opinion anyhow, her most recent roles have more entertaining and more badass than any martial arts master/genius clad in a leather catsuit. Her new gig as Victoria’s new Mistress of the Robes is just the latest in a growing list of “tough as old boots” roles that have earned Ms. Rigg a whole new generation of fans.

Here are just a sampling of her more mature roles from the past twenty years.

Dame Diana Rigg Joins 'Victoria' for Season 2

Dame Diana Rigg as Olenna Tyrell on "Game of Thrones" (Photo: HBO)

Big news for Victoria fans! Acting legend Dame Diana Rigg is officially joining the cast for the period drama’s second season, making an already buzzy series even more exciting.

Rigg is probably best known these days for playing the sharp-tongued Lady Olenna Tyrell on HBO megahit Game of Thrones. (Think a more medieval, weaponized sort of Dowager Countess from Downton Abbey, if you’re not familiar with the show.) But her acting resume is massive – and extremely impressive – including everything from Bleak House to The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries to her starring role as the original Emma Peel in The Avengers. In short: Dame Diana is incredible. 

But who will she be playing?