1938 – Born on July 20th in Doncaster, Yorkshire, England. A classically trained English stage actress who gained worldwide fame during the 1960s in the television series The Avengers.
1946 – The daughter of a government railway supervisor, Rigg spent her early childhood in India, returning to her native Yorkshire at age eight.
1957 – She attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and made her professional debut in the York Festival’s production of Bertolt Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle.
1961 – Joining the prestigious Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), she made her first London stage appearance in 1961, playing several roles in repertory.
– She supplemented her theatre acting income by modeling and by appearing in supporting roles on such British television series as The Sentimental Agent.
1965 – She was auditioned as a replacement for Honor Blackman in the popular British TV espionage series The Avengers.
– Landing the role of the shapely, infinitely resourceful amateur secret agent Mrs. Emma Peel, she worked in The Avengers by day while continuing to perform with the RSC at night.
1969-1973 – Her Avengers-generated celebrity led to a thriving film career, with choice roles in the James Bond movie On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and the Vincent Price horror film Theatre of Blood to her credit, among many others.
– She enjoyed considerable success—and some notoriety—when she starred on Broadway in Tom Stoppard’s Jumpers, making her entrance swinging on a papier-mâché moon while dressed in nothing but a flimsy fishnet.
1982 – She is the author of No Turn Unstoned, an amusing collection of negative theatrical reviews—including her own.
1989 – Her subsequent television work included a hosting stint on PBS’s Mystery! anthology, a chilling Emmy-winning performance as the sinister Mrs. Danvers in a adaptation of Daphne DuMaurier’s Rebecca, and the title role in the BBC miniseries The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries.
1994 – Rigg was made a Dame Commander of the British Empire.