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Actress Dame Diana Rigg (1938-2020)


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Diana Rigg was the murder victim in one of the Peter Ustinov Poirot film's (great banter/jealousy between her character and Maggie Smith's).

Isn't Joanna Lumley still alive?  They did a revival of the Avengers and Steed had a male and female asst.  The male lead died (possibly of AIDS).  Joanna Lumley took on good-looking female role.

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9 minutes ago, chaya bat woof woof said:

Diana Rigg was the murder victim in one of the Peter Ustinov Poirot film's (great banter/jealousy between her character and Maggie Smith's).

Isn't Joanna Lumley still alive?  They did a revival of the Avengers and Steed had a male and female asst.  The male lead died (possibly of AIDS).  Joanna Lumley took on good-looking female role.

Yes, Lumley was in "The New Avengers" where she and Gareth Hunt were neophytes in the espionage game, where Steed served as their mentor.  The series ran for 26 episodes in 1976 and 1977.  Joanna Lumley is still alive (turned 74 in May).  According to IMDB, Hunt died in 2007 at the age of 64.  His health deteriorated following a heart attack in his mid 50's.  He was married 3 times and had a child with each wife.

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I will say something nice about Linda Thorson:

d7he5t9-fc5cb8c1-7993-446d-a499-10067847

But seriously, she stepped into a thankless situation replacing Diana Rigg. Of course she wasn't

anywhere as interesting as Emma Peel and was more of an attractive sidekick to Steed than

anything else, but the series was still pretty entertaining. I've seen a couple of Rigg's movies and

some of her BBC TV shows, but I remember her best as Emma Peel. Many years ago YT still had

some of the Honor Blackman episodes and some of the black and white Emma Peel episodes.

I doubt they're still available. 

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58 minutes ago, Hibi said:

I may wind up buying The Avengers set for the holidays. Years ago they used to show the reruns, but I havent seen it on tv in many years on any station.

The only episodes of that show that are still in print on DVD (AKA still for sale and not at scalper's prices) are the ones with Diana in them.

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This one hurts. I have to admit the first time I saw her was in The Great Muppet Caper, a childhood favorite of mine; and needless to say she was exceptional in it with her classy and witty performance (including breaking the fourth wall a few times). She was heartbreaking in the Bond film, memorable in The Hospital, catty fun in Evil Under the Sun, and good in the 2006 version of The Painted Veil. She also had two good TV movies: as a nun in In This House of Brede and in a supporting part as another classy lady of fashion in Mrs Arris Goes to Paris (which starred Angela Lansbury). 

I see where her final TV guest appearance will be postumous: the small role of the mother superior who sens a group of nuns off to India with terrible results in a miniseries adaptation of Black Narcissus which is due to air on FX.

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14 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

The only episodes of that show that are still in print on DVD (AKA still for sale and not at scalper's prices) are the ones with Diana in them.

Yes, I saw the set on Amazon today.

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56 minutes ago, Vautrin said:

I will say something nice about Linda Thorson:

d7he5t9-fc5cb8c1-7993-446d-a499-10067847

But seriously, she stepped into a thankless situation replacing Diana Rigg. Of course she wasn't

anywhere as interesting as Emma Peel and was more of an attractive sidekick to Steed than

anything else, but the series was still pretty entertaining. I've seen a couple of Rigg's movies and

some of her BBC TV shows, but I remember her best as Emma Peel. Many years ago YT still had

some of the Honor Blackman episodes and some of the black and white Emma Peel episodes.

I doubt they're still available. 

Yes, it wasn't entirely her fault. Plus the writers went in another direction for her character, making her the opposite of Peel. I tried to watch it, but bailed after a couple episodes. I HATED the Mother character they added to the show also.

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6 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

This one hurts. I have to admit the first time I saw her was in The Great Muppet Caper, a childhood favorite of mine; and needless to say she was exceptional in it with her classy and witty performance (including breaking the fourth wall a few times). She was heartbreaking in the Bond film, memorable in The Hospital, catty fun in Evil Under the Sun, and good in the 2006 version of The Painted Veil. She also had two good TV movies: as a nun in In This House of Brede and in a supporting part as another classy lady of fashion in Mrs Arris Goes to Paris (which starred Angela Lansbury). 

I see where her final TV guest appearance will be postumous: the small role of the mother superior who sens a group of nuns off to India with terrible results in a miniseries adaptation of Black Narcissus which is due to air on FX.

I hadnt heard of this Black Narcissus version. I'll have to look for that I've seen all the tv performances you mentioned. She also completed a role in a film which will be released posthumously.

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So sorry  to hear this. I've seen Ms. Rigg on stage numerous times, and each time she created a different three-dimensional human being on stage.  From Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion (1974) to Mrs. Higgins in My Fair Lady (2019), she also thrilled me as Celimene in The Misanthrope, as Martha in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, as Medea, and as Phyllis in Follies (1987), in which she sang "Leave you, leave you, how could I leave you?" I'm deeply saddened that she has left us.

 

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Another credit of note for Miss Rigg, a role as The Wicked Queen in a TV Version of SNOW WHITE (maybe SHELLEY DUVALLS FAIRY TALE THEATER?) 
They have the more traditional version of the tale where The Queen tries three times to kill her, and in the scenario  where she brings the poison comb, she pretends to be a Japanese Geisha In FULL KABUKI. It has not aged entirely well, it is an interesting performance.

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Of her television work, I particularly loved Diana Rigg as Lady Dedlock in the 1985 BBC production of Bleak House.  I tried to watch the more recent version, with Gillian Anderson in that role, but although it was decent, it just wasn't as good.

03_233.jpg

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In 2013, Dame Diana worked with her lookalike daughter Rachael Stirling  for the first time in an episode of the BBC sci-fi series "Doctor Who." In the Season 7 installment titled "The Crimson Horror," they played a mother and daughter from 1890s Yorkshire linked to a mysterious factory known as the Sweetville Mill. Among those investigating the case were The Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) and his companion Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman).

Image result for diana rigg and rachael stirling the crimson horror
 
Stirling was born when her mother was 38 years old. She apparently was destined to become an actress. Her father is the Scottish businessman and theater producer Archie Stirling, who was married to Rigg from 1982 to 1990. 
 
See the source image
 
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2 hours ago, Hibi said:

Yes, it wasn't entirely her fault. Plus the writers went in another direction for her character, making her the opposite of Peel. I tried to watch it, but bailed after a couple episodes. I HATED the Mother character they added to the show also.

Yes, Tara King was the new, green agent taken under the wing of Steed. So playing that character Linda was

believable. She was a less nuanced character than Emma Peel. Mother was annoying and at the same time

just plain weird. Things got even stranger when they gave him that statuesque assistant. I didn't think about

it then, but Steed seems a little old to be romantically involved with Tara, which is hinted at sometimes. I

took a quick look on YT and they only have the opening credits to various seasons and a few short clips

from some episodes. That's what I figured. 

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2 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

Another credit of note for Miss Rigg, a role as The Wicked Queen in a TV Version of SNOW WHITE (maybe SHELLEY DUVALLS FAIRY TALE THEATER?) 

No, Golan/Globus's theatrical CannonTales version (now reappearing, after MIA status on video, thanks to Cannon joining the MGM/Orion Orphans on streaming):

(Vanessa Redgrave was in the Shelley Duvall version.)

And FWIW, some of the CannonTales--particularly Rebecca deMornay in "Beauty & the Beast" and  a singing/dancing Christopher Walken as "Puss in Boots"--are actually Not Too Darn Bad, for their 80's-Menahem-Golan budgets, an indescribable "Red Riding Hood" notwithstanding.  Rigg does pretty well as the thrice-disguised Queen, and certainly has a lot more fun in a low-budget kiddy movie than her onscreen jury-duty boredom in The Great Muppet Caper (1981).

Speaking of multiple disguises, I feel a shoutout is due toward Rigg's performance with Vincent Price in Theatre of Blood (1973).

2 hours ago, Hibi said:

Yes, it wasn't entirely her fault. Plus the writers went in another direction for her character, making her the opposite of Peel. I tried to watch it, but bailed after a couple episodes. I HATED the Mother character they added to the show also.

Patrick Macnee reportedly hated the Mother addition also (Steed actually works for a superior??), and not just because the character was a complete cipher that the writers could never define whether he was a clueless buffoon or Mycroft Holmes.  I'm easier on Tara King, though, since, like the change of classic Doctor Who's impulsive female companions, they took the trouble to make her a completely different personality than Mrs. Peel...From Leela, to Zoe.

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Considering pretty much everything I've always felt about Diana Rigg has already been said earlier in this thread, well okay, everything but the thought that I always wished she done much more big screen work once she left The Avengers series, I'll now just add that my favorite episode of that series, or at least the one that has always stuck in my mind since I watched it first-run on American television in March of 1966 (and at the very impressionable age of 14), was this one...

avengers0423.jpg

                                                                                      The House That Jack Built

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1 minute ago, Dargo said:

Considering pretty much everything I've always felt about Diana Rigg has already been said earlier in this thread, well okay, everything but the thought that I always wished she done much more big screen work once she left The Avengers series, I'll now just add that my favorite episode of that series, or at least the one that has always stuck in my mind since I watched it first-run on American television in March of 1966, was this one...

avengers0423.jpg

                                                                                      The House That Jack Built

One of my favourite episodes, too, Dargo, though it's been years since I saw it. What I recall about this particular one, which has Mrs. Peel trapped in a bizarre house run by a guy playing cat and mouse games with her, was the increasing sense of desperation that Diana Rigg brought to the usually unflappable Mrs. Peel. And at the end, when Steed finally arrives to come to the rescue, there is none of the usual banter exchange between them. Mrs. Peel is grateful to see him and just wants to be gone from a place of creepy horror for her.

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Yes, I remember that one too. There were actually 2 similar episodes. This one and another one where in both Emma was trapped in a house  by someone who'd she'd put away in the past and had to use her wits to find her way out of it. Steed was barely in each episode.

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54 minutes ago, Hibi said:

Yes, I remember that one too. There were actually 2 similar episodes. This one and another one where in both Emma was trapped in a house  by someone who'd she'd put away in the past and had to use her wits to find her way out of it. Steed was barely in each episode.

Yeah, ya know Hibi, I do also recall there being another episode that had somewhat of a similar premise, however didn't the villain in that other episode have a lot more screen-time in it?

(...and his name was "Max" something-or-other, and was a reoccurring character in a few other episodes as I recall)

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1 hour ago, Dargo said:

Considering pretty much everything I've always felt about Diana Rigg has already been said earlier in this thread, well okay, everything but the thought that I always wished she done much more big screen work once she left The Avengers series, I'll now just add that my favorite episode of that series, or at least the one that has always stuck in my mind since I watched it first-run on American television in March of 1966 (and at the very impressionable age of 14), was this one...

 

                                                                                      The House That Jack Built

My favorite: "The Winged Avenger" from the first season telecast in color. Mrs. Peel battled a clawed menace right out of a comic book. Some scenes even began with comic artwork.

See the source image

Diana Rigg in The Avengers (1961)

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2 hours ago, Dargo said:

Yeah, ya know Hibi, I do also recall there being another episode that had somewhat of a similar premise, however didn't the villain in that other episode have a lot more screen-time in it?

(...and his name was "Max" something-or-other, and was a reoccurring character in a few other episodes as I recall)

Are you perhaps thinking of: Season 5 Episode 11 entitled: Epic? It starred Kenneth J. Warren as: Z.Z. von Schnerk. He was an old-time movie producer staging a comeback by making a movie documenting her death. Steed had very little screen time in this episode. Kenneth J Warren also appeared in three other episodes of the series. 

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0516836/?ref_=ttep_ep11

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6 hours ago, SansFin said:

Are you perhaps thinking of: Season 5 Episode 11 entitled: Epic? It starred Kenneth J. Warren as: Z.Z. von Schnerk. He was an old-time movie producer staging a comeback by making a movie documenting her death. Steed had very little screen time in this episode. Kenneth J Warren also appeared in three other episodes of the series. 

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0516836/?ref_=ttep_ep11

Yes, I think that may be the one. Emma is lured away by some adversary and has to use her wits to foil the villain in both episodes. Steed is only in the beginning and end of the 2 episodes.

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9 hours ago, jakeem said:

My favorite: "The Winged Avenger" from the first season telecast in color. Mrs. Peel battled a clawed menace right out of a comic book. Some scenes even began with comic artwork.

See the source image

Diana Rigg in The Avengers (1961)

Yes, that was one of the more campier episodes.

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