Diana Rigg

Born 20 July 1938 in Doncaster, England, Diana Rigg was transplanted to India at the age of two months when her father, a railroad construction engineer, moved the family there for seven years (where she learned to speak Hindi). Returning to Yorkshire, she graduated from Fulneck Girls School in Pudsey and was promptly accepted by the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, although she frequently butted heads with the faculty and was nearly kicked out. While highly successful at the Royal Shakespeare Company, she was starving on the meager pay, and started moonlighting on television shows. An appearance on Armchair Theatre ("The Hothouse") indirectly led to her world-famous role as Mrs. Emma Peel.

Voted #1 in TV Guide's "Top Ten Hottest Stars of All Time" (7 August 1999), Ms. Rigg started her acting career early, appearing in a school play of "Goldilocks" at the age of thirteen, and thereafter expressed a preference for the stage. By the time she was 22 she had been a clerk, a telephonist, and a fashion model. Named Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1987 and made a Dame in 1994, she has received honorary doctorates from Stirling University and from the University of Leeds.

Diana's father was Louis Rigg, her mother Beryl Helliwell. She has a brother, Hugh, an officer in the R.A.F., four years her elder. She married Menachem Gueffen, an artist, on 6 July 1973 in London, and divorced on 3 September 1976. Her daugher Rachael Atlanta Stirling was born 30 May 1977. She then married Archibald Hugh Stirling, a theatrical producer and Scottish laird (full title: Archibald Stirling of Keir) on 25 March 1982 in New York, and divorced in 1990.

Her daughter Rachael Atlanta Stirling graduated from University of Edinburgh and now works as an actress. Filmography includes Still Crazy, on video. Interviews with Rachael can be found in the Sunday - Times UK 3 October 1999 and the London Evening Standard, 7 March 2000. Earlier she swore she'd never step into a catsuit, but has lately commented she might be coerced. She is 1/2-inch taller than her mother, who is 5 feet, 8-1/2 inches, and they both smoke Marlboro cigarettes.

Bio courtesy The Avengers Forever