Game of Thrones fans know Dame Diana Rigg as Lady Olenna, the witty, worldly, and treacherous matriarch of House Tyrell. She's impossible to resist — a sharp old lady who spends her time teaching granddaughter Margery how to use her womanly ways to survive and thrive in the Seven Kingdoms. But this isn't Rigg's first trip around the King's Landing gardens. The actress has had a long and varied career, with credits ranging from stylish mod spy shows to enough Shakespeare to make Sir Patrick Stewart blush. Here are a few of our favorites.
Rigg's most enduring legacy might be that of sexy super-spy Emma Peel in this cult classic from the '60s. The Avengers was the first British series to be shown on prime time in the U.S., so ask your grandpa about Emma's signature catsuit sometime.
A Midsummer Night's Dream
In the 1968 film version of Shakespeare's most whimsical comedy, Rigg pines away as Helena. Yes, that's a young Helen Mirren you see playing Helena's frenemy Hermia. And now we're hoping that these two became lifelong friends and still trade showbiz gossip on the regular.
On Her Majesty's Secret Service
Maybe Olenna is fearless because even the Lannisters know better than to mess with a Bond girl. Rigg stars as Countess Teresa di Vincenzo in George Lazenby's single 007 outing. She was the first and only woman to ever tie the ultimate man-about-town down.
A Little Night Music
The multitalented actress' theatrical career includes several musicals. In this film version of the critically acclaimed Stephen Sondheim musical, Rigg shows off her pipes for the moviegoing crowd. The film's reception was tepid, but her performance was almost universally praised.
Ricky Gervais wooed quite a few heavyhitters over to his sophomore series effort, almost always to make fools of themselves. Rigg kills as herself in the Daniel Radcliffe episode. You've got to respect a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire who's still game to let the star of a children's franchise fling a condom in her face.
Rigg camps it up in seventh season episode "The Crimson Horror" alongside her real life daughter Rachel Stirling. To save the people of Sweetville, The Doctor takes on her Mrs. Gillyflower, a villainous Victorian with a dark (and super weird) secret. Watch it. Just trust us.
"He's this cold-blooded... (guy) who, I think, has some delusions of what his legacy is going to be. I don't like what's happening in Ukraine. I don't buy it. He's sending 'peace keepers' in for humanitarian aid. It's armed guards blatantly land grabbing. I don't like it... It feels like a remote issue for us (in the U.S.), but it's not. At any moment one of these key players can make a move in this very dangerous game and it will change the world as we know it." Actress Vera Farmiga takes aim at Russian President Vladimir Putin over the crisis in her native Ukraine. Tensions in the Eastern European region were heightened last month (Mar14) when Putin sent soldiers into the Ukrainian territory of Crimea following a period of civil unrest.
U.S. sports broadcaster John T. Ramsay has died at the age of 89. The ESPN analyst passed away in Florida on Monday (28Apr14) following a long battle with cancer.
In a message on Twitter.com, ESPN spokesman Chris LaPlaca writes, "Dr. Jack Ramsay has passed. A rare man. Loved and respected by all. Fascinating life well lived. An inspiration to so many."
Ramsay began his career as a National Basketball Association coach and won the NBA Championship in 1977 with the Portland Trailblazers.
He also took home a ring in 1967 as general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992.
Following his 20-year coaching stint, Ramsay became a sports broadcaster.
A statement from ESPN president John Skipper reads: "It was our great pleasure to work with Dr. Jack and his energy and zest for life resonated in all that he did. He leaves an amazing legacy of helping fans understand and appreciate the game he loved."
A sprawling home in Henderson, Tennessee which once belonged to late music legend Johnny Cash has been sold for $2 million (£1.2 million). The mansion, which the country music star and his wife June Carter Cash called home for more than 40 years, is off the market after bosses at limited liability company Lakehouse Holdings purchased the property.
The estate was sold by Bee Gees star Barry Gibb and his wife Linda, who bought the house in 2005, promising to preserve the Cash legacy. They also hoped the setting would serve as an inspiration in their own music.
The Gibbs, whose main residence is in Miami, Florida, were planning to completely renovate and restore the lake-front house in 2005, but a fire in 2007 destroyed much of the mostly wooden structure.
The seven-bedroom home was built in 1968, and served as a setting in 2005 Cash biopic Walk the Line, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon.
Ratt frontman Stephen Pearcy has quit the rock group after 30 years - and it appears his departure is far from amicable. The group co-founder has released a statement about his decision, insisting he is "officially done" with "having anything to do" with his now-former bandmates.
Stating, "It's time that I personally part ways with the band," Pearcy adds he has had enough of "the constant turmoil, unresolved business, personal attacks/threats in the public forum, and most of all, the disrespect to the fans".
He continues, "I'm very content and proud of the legacy and the music I’ve created. This music will live well beyond any of our lifetimes. I owe no one anything but a huge heartfelt thank you for coming to the party for the last 30 years.
"With much respect, life goes on and the music I created will continue to be heard for years to come despite the dark clouds that have lingered for far too long... See you out there."
The news comes weeks after Ratt pulled the plug on their planned appearance on the Monsters Of Rock cruise following the death of Pearcy's sister.
It's not the first time the singer has quit the group - he left briefly in 1992 and 2000, but has been a constant figure in the line-up since 2006.
Pearcy formed the group with the late Robben Crosby in the early 1980s.
Actress Olivia Wilde is a new mum. The Tron: Legacy star and fiance Jason Sudeikis have named their firstborn Otis Alexander.
Wilde took to Twitter.com on Wednesday (23Apr14) to announce the happy news, writing, "Ladies and gentlemen, Otis Alexander Sudeikis has LEFT the building! (I’m the building)."
She also posted a sweet photo of new mum and baby, who arrived 10 days early.
The 30 year old confirmed pregnancy reports in October (13), nine months after she and We're the Millers star Sudeikis became engaged.
U.S. President Barack Obama has paid a special tribute to club music icon Frankie Knuckles by penning a letter to his grieving family and friends. The top producer, known as the Godfather of House, died at the age of 59 in his adopted home of Chicago, Illinois on 31 March (14) after suffering complications related to diabetes.
Tributes have poured in from musicians including DJ Roger Sanchez, members of rap group Wu-Tang Clan, British DJ Pete Tong and hip-hop star Questlove, and now a note personally sent to Knuckles' loved ones by former Illinois Senator Obama and his wife Michelle has been shared online by his DJ pal David Morales.
The letter, which is dated 17 April (14) and signed by both the President and the First Lady, reads: "We were deeply saddened to learn of Frankie's passing, and we extend our heartfelt sympathies as you mourn his loss and reflect upon his life.
"Frankie's work helped open minds and bring people together, blending genres to capture our attention and ignite our imaginations. He was a trailblazer in his field, and his legacy lives on in the city of Chicago and on dance floors across the globe.
"While he will be dearly missed, we trust Frankie's spirit will remain a guiding force. At this difficult time, please know we are holding you all in our thoughts and prayers."
Knuckles' memory has also been honoured by his friend Sir Elton John, who this week (begs21Apr14) announced the establishment of new HIV awareness charity the Frankie Knuckles Fund.
Sir Elton John has set up a new charity in memory of late music producer Frankie Knuckles. The club music icon, dubbed the 'Godfather of House', died last month (Mar14) at the age of 59, and the Rocket Man star has now launched a new project to honour his memory.
The Elton John AIDS Foundation has created the Frankie Knuckles Fund to raise awareness of HIV information and support testing and treatment among black communities in Africa, America and the U.K.
A statement from the superstar singer reads, "Frankie was such a lovely man and a great talent and his legacy provides a powerful voice to reach out to people, particularly men of colour, about their essential role in helping to create an AIDS-free future."
George Jones' wife Nancy is planning to commemorate the anniversary of the country music icon's death with a public celebration in Tennessee. The singing legend passed away on 26 April, 2013, and exactly a year later, his family, friends, and fans will gather at his grave in Nashville's Woodlawn Cemetery to honour his legacy.
During the gathering, Nancy will plant two dogwood trees next to the monument which was erected in his memory last November (13).
She encourages friends and fans to join in the celebration of his life in a statement which reads: "This day is going to be bittersweet. I know how much people loved George, and the love has continued even a year later. I am so fortunate for the friends and fans that George and I made through the years.
"I want everyone to come celebrate with us, not because he is no longer with us, but to keep his legacy alive."
British rocker Ian Anderson has no plans to reunite with his Jethro Tull bandmates following their 2011 hiatus, insisting he prefers to focus on his solo career. The progressive rock group experienced its heyday in the 1970s and '80s and has not released any new material since 2003's The Jethro Tull Christmas Album.
Instead, Anderson has been performing Jethro Tull tunes on his own since completing the band's Aqualung 40th Tour in 2011 and in the liner notes for his new project Homo Erraticus, he admits he is keen to just continue on as a solo star.
He writes, "The huge body of work that is the Jethro Tull catalogue stands firm close beside me and in good stead... But I think I prefer, in my twilight years, to use my own name for the most part being composer of virtually all Tull songs and music since 1968."
Confirming the news in an interview with Billboard.com, he claims "nothing is going on at all" with the band now, and adds, "And that's the point...
"The vast body of repertoire that's Jethro Tull, the record catalogue, the music, and I think that, if we look back on it, it kind of came more or less to an end during the last 10 years or so (with) a couple of live albums and a studio album of Christmas material. That might define the last albums under the name Jethro Tull.
"It's a body of work I rather think is now kind of historical, since the weight of it lies back in the '70s and '80s in terms of volume. And I rather think it's nice to kind of leave that as legacy."