Diana Rigg – a powerhouse personality and talent

Dame Diana Rigg, who has died aged 82, was a superlatively gifted classical stage actress yet she’s best known to most as the sexy secret agent Emma Peel in 1960s television series The Avengers and more recently as Lady Olenna Tyrrell in Game of Thrones. She could play it seductive, zany, funny or straight with a penchant for strong women characters and had a wonderful range.

  Born 20 July 1938 2am Doncaster, England, she grew up partly in India, but was sent home to boarding school at eight where she was unhappy. A teacher persuaded her to take up acting and she trained at RADA.

  She had a striking chart with a formidably determined Sun, Mars, Pluto in Cancer in her 3rd house of communication with Moon Saturn in forced-to-be-self-reliant Aries; and Uranus in Taurus in an inspired trine to Neptune in Virgo. She had an unaspected Jupiter in Pisces in her 10th, which would tend to make her a loner or fairly detached as well as lucky in her career and increasingly respected the older she got. Not an easy personality but she harnessed all that volcanic power and anger to forge a memorable career.

  Her personal life was erratic with one longish affair, followed by a brief marriage to a painter and a decade-long second marriage to a theatrical producer.

12 thoughts on “Diana Rigg – a powerhouse personality and talent

  1. Same birthday as Natalie Wood, I see. They kind of look similar too. I wonder if Natalie had lived if she would have carved out a similarly long and respected career and stopped being as dependent on men and done her own thing just like Diana had. Both were good mums too by all accounts.

  2. Simplistic I know but the ruling Moon of Cancer so often is reflected in the faces of those born under that sign. Dianna Rigg was a perfect example. Emotionally it is a very powerful sign and that intensity needs a creative outlet which something acting can provide.

  3. Diana Rigg was a warm loving person, the best friend anyone could ever have. Other actors who worked with her at the RSC and elsewhere talk of her generosity to other cast members, her genuine selflessness as an actor, and her many small acts of kindness made anonymously to others. My cousin, also an actor with the RSC during the 1960s and 70s absolutely adored her, both as an actress and as a person. She made the role of Cordelia, in King Lear a real rounded character, not just the bit part Shakespeare wrote, and often challenged management’s top-down decisions to the benefit of cast and crew. RIP and many condolences to her daughter Rachel.

  4. And she was awesome as the deluded sinister Violet in the stage version of Suddenly, Last Summer. A fabulous talent, she gave us so much to enjoy.

  5. “icon” Dame Diana Rigg, a Bond actress and star of The Avengers and Game Of Thrones, has died at the age of 82.
    Rigg was a star of stage and screen whose career spanned several decades.
    With 14 events Starkman, ADB, rectified her chart to 01.53.20 BST Asc 14Gem55’.
    Mercury, rulers of 1st and 5th, in Leo trine Moon, sextile Asc and in opposition to helio Jupiter in 10th.
    Helio Mercury trine Jupiter.
    Like so many peoples in showbiz, Venus sextile helio Venus.
    In the converse lunar return Neptune on MC
    In the converse Solar Return Mars and SN on IC , NN conjunct radical Moon.

  6. Encountering her in the park with her dog and mine was a good experience, which rather seemed because of the dogs – now I guess if it was because of our Aries moons

  7. Thank you Marjorie. She will be greatly missed. Certainly a powerhouse of an actress and not surprising that she has that Sun/Mars/Pluto conjunction in the 3rd. Also I find with such powerful placements in the 3rd, there is often unhappiness or traumatic experiences at school.

    Her daughter, Rachel Stirling is following in her mother’s footsteps. I loved her in ‘Detectorists’ with Diana Rigg playing her mother.

    • Another observation on her Astrology, I’ve noticed so often with actors how the roles they play are reflected in the natal chart. A memorable performance was a drama series entitled ‘Mother Love’ where she played a manipulative and murderous mother-in-law – I just see that Sun/Mars/Pluto and Aries Moon and think how she was just destined to play powerful, sinister women.

      • Yes, Diana Rigg was a wonderful actor with a gift for both intensity and witty humour. It’s certainly all there in her dramatic astrology. The South nodes are close to Algol, which although it has a fearsome reputation is also found in highly creative people’s charts. Plus, I think, the feminine power of that star was channeled into many of the roles she so enjoyed playing. I, too, enjoyed her and her daughter in ‘Detectorists’.

        Thank you Marjorie for posting this. It is always hard to believe such a charismatic force of nature has left the building…

        • I just noticed that Diana Rigg’s BML opposes that Sun/Mars/Pluto too, giving quite a Scorpionic feel. The presence of Algol/Medusa is visible in her costume for Klytemenestra posted here. All those writhing serpents!

      • Oh, sad news! I loved the 60’s and 70’s stuff she was in growing up, she had such a strong presence. Also, brilliant casting call from Nina Gold for “GOT, I’d even say my favorite on a very long list. Olenna Tyrell or “Queen of Thornes” is a minor, if important and entertaining character in the books. There isn’t much mention on her looks, other than her being very old. However, Nina Gold did an incredibly clever thing casting her as grandmother to Margeary, played by Natalie Dormer. They bared a remarkable resamplence. And, since Margeary is repeatedly complimented for her beauty, you will immediately get the back story on why and how she is powerful at traditionally patriarchal Westerosi society.

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: