The Rake


Dame Diana Rigg is the doyenne of amused gravitas, a tough, imperiously stylish, post-imperial stateswoman of stage and screen. Like Julie Christie, the subject of The Rake’s previous Cherchez La Femme column, she had a traditional English education while her parents were based in India. Born in Doncaster in 1938, Rigg overcame the disorientation of her Yorkshire boarding school to get into RADA and then the Royal Shakespeare Company, where she played Cordelia to Paul Scofield’s Lear.

Before too long she was spotted for the role of Emma Peel in , the, maligned at the time but since reappraised (the director Christopher Nolan, for example, cites it as his favourite Bond and a strong influence on ).

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