Thursday, July 1, 2010
Underrated Performer of the Month: Diana Rigg
After guest stints in a handful of TV shows, Diana Rigg secured lasting fame as Mrs. Emma Peel (the name a play on “man appeal’”) in the classic British series The Avengers. I’m convinced that if she had done nothing else, there would still be plenty of Diana Rigg fan clubs around the world. (And if you think the role was easy, watch Uma Thurman struggle with it in the 1998 big screen adaptation of The Avengers).
Her post-Avengers film career included the tongue-in-cheek The Assassination Bureau (with Oliver Reed), the witty theatrical satire Theater of Blood (she plays Vincent Price’s daughter), and a portrayal as the only Mrs. James Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Agent (in spite of George Lazenby, this is one of my favorite 007 films). Concurrently, she gained acclaim on the stage, earning Tony nominations for Best Actress in 1972 and 1975 (she would eventually win a Tony in 1994 for Medea).
At age 71, she continues to act, most recently appearing as a nun (as she did in House of Brede) in the 2006 version of The Painted Veil.
So, Dame Diana fans, it’s your time to chime in!