Diana Rigg, RIP


I first saw Diana Rigg starring as Emma Peel opposite Patrick Macnee’s John Steed in “The Avengers,” one of many British cultural imports that flooded these shores in the 1960s. I loved that show and its stars and its distinctive theme song. (The composer, Laurie Johnson, also did the music for “Dr. Strangelove”).

Diana Rigg was a great actress who did many great things on stage and screen, but to me she always was Mrs. Peel.

My ATM password on a long closed bank account was “jsteed.”

I named a kitten a friend rescued and that I kept until a permanent home could be found “Emma,” for Emma Peel.

I named my first Wheaten terrier “Emma,” for Emma Peel.

And the show’s producers came up with that name for Diana Rigg because they had been looking for someone with “man appeal,” or “m. appeal” for short.

Few actresses ever had as much “m. appeal” as Diana Rigg had. I doubt that few ever will. Requiescat in pace.

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Tom Piatak

Tom Piatak writes from Cleveland, Ohio.

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