As Emma Peel, Diana Rigg Made Leather Fashionable
Dame Enid Diana Elizabeth Rigg, DBE (born 20 July 1938) is an English actress famous for playing leather-clad Emma Peel in "The Avengers." She has been active in films and theater since the 1960s, and still makes occasional television guest appearances.
Diana Rigg was born in South Yorkshire, England, but lived in India due to her father's job working on the railways there. Accordingly, she speaks fluent Hindi. Eventually, she returned to England and later enrolled at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Rigg got the part of Emma Peel due to the the producers' being displeased with the incumbent in the role, Elizabeth Shepherd, who herself had replaced Honor Blackman. She has said that she was unhappy during filming and that the only two friends that she had on set were her co-star, Patrick Macnee, and her driver. However, she always projected a sunny disposition on camera, though she was adamant about only staying on the show for two years when she could have retained the roled.
Diana jumped from the spy role of Emma Peel straight to the role of girlfriend of a spy, as Countess Teresa di Vicenzo in the 1969 James Bond film "On Her Majesty's Secret Service." There was many rumors that Diana did not like her costar, George Lazenby, and to this day she does not have kind things to say about him. Numerous other film roles followed, though she spent much of her time on stage.
Diana has worked steadily since her early roles, both on the stage and on television. For her service, she was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire by the Queen in 1994.
While her role on "The Avengers" was relatively brief, it established Diana Rigg as an iconic figure of female strength and power. Her trademark leather outfits have been imitated and copied by other film productions right up until the present day, such as by Scarlett Johansson in the recent "The Avengers."
Below, pictures of Diana Rigg in her trademark black leather.
|From an episode of "The Avengers" called "A Matter of Time"|
|Diana's character in this episode was the "Queen of Sin"|
|Diana Rigg and Patrick Macnee got on quite well together|
|Diana tied to the tracks - who will save her?|
|It is Steed to the rescue!|
|Diana is holding a snake|
|Diana showed some good fighting moves as Emma Peel|
|Diana Rigg holding a snake in character as the Queen of Sin|
|An odd note from the "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" set|
|With her co-stars on set of "On Her Majesty's Secret Service"|