Nobody Rocked Leather Like Diana Rigg as Emma Peel
|In "OHMSS" with George Lazenby|
Diana Rigg is still going strong as an actress as this is being written, but she remains best known for her role as the Bond girl who became James Bond's wife (albeit quite briefly) in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" (1969). "OHMSS" (as it is known) was quite a good film, despite it being considered somewhat of a "black sheep" among among James Bond films among fans. Praise for OHMSS usually notes the bravura performance by Diana Rigg. She played Tray Di Vicenzo, a lovelorn mafia princess. Rigg created the entire James Bond series' most heartfelt and serious female character. There were many pretty Bond girls before and after, but Diana Rigg crafted a character of substance. That role of James Bond's wife, though, wasn't why she was best known to American audiences during that period.
|Gambling in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)|
|Promo shot for "The Avengers"|
|Diana Rigg in her catsuit from "The Avengers"|
"The leather catsuit I wore in "The Avengers" (1961) was a total nightmare; it took a good 45 minutes to get unzipped to go to the loo. It was like struggling in and out of a wet-suit. Once I got into the jersey catsuits, they were very easy to wear but you had to watch for baggy knees; there is nothing worse. I got a lot of very odd fan mail while I was in that show, but my mum used to enjoy replying to it. Some of the men who wrote to me must have been a bit startled because she would offer really motherly advice. I would get a letter from a teenage boy, say, who was overexcited and my mother would write back saying: 'My daughter is far too old for you and what you really need is a good run around the block.'"
|As Tracy di Vicenzo|
"[George Lazenby] was really difficult, it's not for nothing that they didn't offer him any sequels. I mean, he was just difficult because, I think, he needed help - not only acting, he was really quite good, wasn't he, and attractive and sexy and all those things, but just difficult off stage. He kind of thought he was a film star immediately and started throwing his weight around, and then, of course, it was, you know, accused me of eating garlic before love scenes. It was so petty and ridiculous. Of course, I didn't.... I mean, I think I had some chicken liver paté for lunch which had garlic in it. Silly me, I should have thought of, but I didn't, and I could have easily sprayed or whatever. Poor old George, I don't know what he's doing now, but he definitely was the architect of his own demise as a film star."
"Quite why the feminists are up in arms about ["On Her Majesty's Secret Service"] I don't know, because the character that I played had a central role and was not just a piece of fluff."
|A playfully signed promo card - dressed as Tracy Bond in OHMSS|
"I didn't like my Bond Girl outfits. The designer was a friend of the directors and I thought they were too boring and middle-aged for my character. The right costumes are essential for getting into a part; I've witnessed many costume parades with grumpy or even weeping actors because they've been put into the wrong thing."
|Playing a belly dancer in "The Avengers"|
"Society was so much more prudish in the 1960s. In one episode of "The Avengers" (1961), I played a belly dancer and I had to stick a jewel in my navel because the Americans wouldn't tolerate them. In those days, you didn't flash the boobs at all. What you did do to look glamorous was jack the boobs up and probably wear something quite low-cut."
|With Gorge Lazenby and Gabriele Ferzetti ("Draco"). She is quite thin!|
"In those days, trousers were appallingly cut for women so I used to go to a gentlemen's tailor to have them made. Nowadays you can look at some quite highly priced clothes and be astonished at how badly they are finished. But then, people don't look for that any more, it's only old bags like me that do. When I need to look smart, I go for Armani because he's just absolutely brilliant at tailoring. I always dress for myself, not men or other women. I'm well aware of them though - you get the sweep of the eye up and down and I think, 'You poor thing, are you so competitive that you have to measure yourself against everyone else?' It's so pathetic."
|At her leather best as "The Queen of the Damned"|
|Signed promo photo from "The Avengers" whoeing a leather jumpsuit|
|Promo shot for "Abelard and Heloise"|
|Sometimes leather isn't necessary|
"You can't get a much better actress than Dame Maggie Smith or Dame Diana Rigg. They're the tops, aren't they?" Patrick Macnee.
|Looking relaxed on set|
|Diana Rigg perched on a couch|