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20 Pictures of Diana Rigg as the Deadly, Adorable Emma Peel

Diana Rigg as Emma Peel

Less than a month ago, we gave the classic UK spy-action TV series The Avengers a mention because one of its stars, Patrick Macnee, who played John Steed, died aged 93 in his California home.

A happier reason, this time around, to indulge our Mrs. Peel fetish — today (July 20) is Diana Rigg’s birthday. Once again in the TV spotlight, now as Olenna Tyrell on Game of Thrones, Rigg defined a swinging-London badassery during her 1965-68 run on The Avengers. She was also exceedingly easy on the eyes — Mrs. Peel might kick the baddies’ faces in with her kung fu moves or shoot them with one of her many guns, but they probably didn’t even mind.

As further testament to her pulchritude, Rigg was also a Bond Girl, in 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and is the only Bond Girl to ensnare 007 in the blessed institution of matrimony. Of course, she was shot in the head by Blofeld and Irma Bunt just after the wedding, and Tracy Bond’s husband was the much maligned Lazenby-Bond, but still: Rigg was a babe who defined a look, a spirit, and an era.

Happy birthday, Diana Rigg.

Diana Rigg as Emma Peel

Diana Rigg as Emma Peel

Editor’s note: Altough we posted the picture above thinking it to be a photograph at first, we’re pretty sure it’s a painting. The trigger finger, gun and parts of the hair give it away. Here’s what looks to be the original photo, unfortunately we can’t find a larger version:

Diana Rigg as Emma Peel

Diana Rigg as Emma Peel

Diana Rigg as Emma Peel

Diana Rigg as Emma Peel, with Patrick Macnee as John Steed

Diana Rigg as Emma Peel

Diana Rigg as Emma Peel

Diana Rigg as Emma Peel

Diana Rigg as Emma Peel

Diana Rigg as Emma Peel

Diana Rigg as Emma Peel

Diana Rigg as Emma Peel

Diana Rigg as Emma Peel

Diana Rigg as Emma Peel

Diana Rigg as Emma Peel

Diana Rigg as Emma Peel with Patrick Macnee as John Steed

Diana Rigg as Emma Peel with Patrick Macnee as John Steed

Diana Rigg as Emma Peel

Diana Rigg as Emma Peel

Diana Rigg as Emma Peel

Diana Rigg as Emma Peel

Diana Rigg as Emma Peel

Diana Rigg as Emma Peel

Diana Rigg as Emma Peel

Diana Rigg as Emma Peel

Diana Rigg as Emma Peel

Diana Rigg as Emma Peel

Diana Rigg as Emma Peel

Diana Rigg as Emma Peel

Diana Rigg as Emma Peel

Diana Rigg as Emma Peel

Diana Rigg as Emma Peel

Diana Rigg as Emma Peel

Diana Rigg as Emma Peel

Diana Rigg as Emma Peel

Diana Rigg as Emma Peel

Diana Rigg as Emma Peel with Patrick Macnee as John Steed

These last two are great — scans from a 1967 issue of TV Guide that spotlighted the “Emmapeeler” line of jumpsuits based on Mrs. Peel’s wardrobe.

Diana Rigg as Emma Peel

“Here’s that Avenger girl, Diana Rigg, in the grooviest jumpsuit on your TV screen. Called the ‘Emmapeeler’ — after the character she plays — it comes in eight colors and is made of a stretch fabric called Crimplene. T.B. Jones Ltd. of London is the manufacturer.”

Diana Rigg as Emma Peel

“Those giant ‘Avenger’ watches that Diana wears with her jumpsuits also are a British import. They come in various colors and straps, and this spring they started to appear in stores throughout the U.S. They are by Old England.”

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