Though forever linked in the public's eye with her Emma Peel role, Diana Rigg - sorry, Dame Diana Rigg! - is one of England's most respected theater actresses and, judging from this book, one hell of an interesting individual. In an eventful career fueled by a fierce independence and a drive to test new waters, Rigg has scored notable successes in the theater, movies and television along with the occasional failure. Her personal life has been as adventuresome and, as revealed in this biography by Kathleen Tracy, Rigg is as interesting a character as any role she has played.
Born in India and educated in England, Rigg arrived in London in the late 1950s very much a free spirit. Joining what was to become the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1959 she embarked on a theater career, slowly establishing a reputation as a gifted, insightful actress. In 1965, on a whim, she auditioned for the AVENGERS TV series and won the role that made her into a cultural icon.
It isn't overstating matters to say the Emma Peel character exploded on the public conscience, especially the male portion. Here was a beautiful, intelligent, witty and self-assured woman capable of handling all situations, a woman totally unlike anything seen on television previously. Yet, for all the attention given to karate kicks and 'Emmapeeler' costume, Rigg was a marvelously talented actress with a wonderfully expressive face that could effortlessly go from self-confidence to uncertainty to terror. Not to mention a smile that lit up a room and a rich, fruity voice and laugh!
Characteristically seeking new challenges, Rigg left the AVENGERS after two years. Returning to the theater world her reputation as a stage actress steadily grew over the years, Olivier subsequently calling her "a brilliantly skilled and delicious actress." Rigg's track record in films and television was mixed. She was charming in THE ASSASSINATION BUREAU, held her own against George C. Scott in THE HOSPITAL, was the best Bond girl ever in ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE, tanked in DIANA, was Emmy nominated for IN THIS HOUSE OF BREDE and was monstrously evil in MOTHER LOVE. Rigg's personal live was just as varied and interesting.
Rigg was not interviewed for this book, author Kathleen Tracy interweaving comments from previous Rigg interviews with background information and insightful commentary.
Unbelieveably this is the first book on this gifted Tony and Emmy Award winner. Rigg fans will enjoy this book immensely, especially those quoted sections where she reveals herself as a forthright, insightful and self-deprecating 'Dame who considers herself a dame.' Read & enjoy!