Hollywood reacts to the death of Diana Rigg

Diana Rigg was, and forever will be, an icon. While towards the end of her career, the actress garnered attention (and four Emmy nominations) for her role as fan-favorite Olenna Tyrell on HBO’s Game Of Thrones, Rigg led a storied life with a career dating back to the late 1950s. An Emmy winner (for the miniseries Rebecca) and a Tony winner, Rigg was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in 1994, per The Sun. She also held the distinction of portraying Mrs. James Bond in 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

When news of her death hit the internet on Sept. 10, 2020, Hollywood reacted with an outpouring of grief, remembrance, and reverence. While some recognized her acting abilities and iconic roles, others offered personal stories about their time with Rigg. Overall, her colleagues and admirers sent a unified message: Diana Rigg was one of a kind, and she will never be replaced or forgotten.

Diana Rigg's James Bond remembers his bride

Perhaps one of Diana Rigg’s most memorable roles was her turn as Contessa Teresa di Vincenzo, the character that would become Mrs. Tracy Bond in 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. The official 007 Twitter page offered a tribute, remembering the “only woman to have married James Bond.” The account called her “legendary,” extending “love and thoughts” to her family and friends. An especially poignant memorial came from her Mr. Bond himself, George Lazenby.

On his official Instagram page, Lazenby eulogized Rigg as a “good [friend] on set” and as someone who “undoubtedly raised [his] acting game.” Lazenby said “her depth of experience really helped [him].” In his post, Lazenby also took the opportunity to set the record straight about rumors from decades prior. “Much was made of our supposed differences,” he noted, “but that was the Press looking for a news story.” 

Lazenby concluded, “As my new bride, Tracy Bond, I wept for her loss. Now, upon hearing of Dame Diana’s death, I weep again.” A heartfelt tribute from an on-screen partner.

'Game of Thrones' alums recognize Lady Olenna

As Lady Olenna Tyrell, Diana Rigg delivered some of Game of Thrones’ most iconic lines (and most clever burns) with razor-sharp wit and impeccable timing. In the seventh season, Olenna rhetorically asks Emilia Clarke’s Daenerys if she is a sheep before telling her she’s a dragon. Parroting her answer, the Game of Thrones Twitter account gave a simple tribute: “Be a dragon,” adding, “The realm will always remember Diana Rigg.” And while a lot of the Game of Thrones cast members use social media sparingly — or not at all — a few cast members immediately hopped online to remember their co-star.

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau — who portrayed Jaime Lannister and was partnered with Rigg for her last seen in the series – posted a tribute on Instagram. “She always raised the bar with her incredible talent, intelligence and wit,” he wrote. Coster-Waldau continued, calling her “[a]n absolute joy and honor to work with,” concluding, “May her soul rest in peace.” Nathalie Emmanuel, known for playing Missandei in the series, also remembered her costar, tweeting, “An icon and powerhouse left this world today.” 

Pedro Pascal, who portrayed Oberyn Martell, referred to her as “The true queen of Westeros,” while John Bradley, the actor behind Samwell Tarly, shared: “Diana Rigg was just wonderful. But you already knew that. Everyone did.” Rigg’s Game of Thrones co-stars weren’t the only ones to remember the actress, however. Figures from every corner of Hollywood paid tribute to Rigg following the news of her death.

Hollywood remembers Diana Rigg's impact

Co-stars weren’t the only ones who took to social media to remember Diana Rigg. George Takei, one of the original Star Trek actors and a social media personality in recent years, posted a tribute to the late actress, writing, “The screen and stage has lost a giant … [i]t was too soon for you to leave us, but we are grateful for decades of your art.” Takei concluded with best wishes, tweeting, “Rest among the heroes now, Dame Rigg.”

Academy Award-winning actress Viola Davis also added her voice to the chorus of mourners, sharing the news on her Twitter account with a succinct message: “It’s always hard when greatness exits this world.” Director Edgar Wright remembered the “thrill” of “work[ing] with her on her final film,” adding, “She exceeded all my highest expectations, so blazingly talented, fiery & funny.” Sherlock actor Mark Gatiss recognized his “great joy and privilege to have known Diana Rigg,” concluding, “There will never be another.” 

Rigg’s contributions to the world of stage and screen are indelible, and her work will surely live on forever.

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