Ask Morgana 224: Who’s beautiful?

1And we’re back to Diana Rigg.

Well, she was one of my major pre-teen crushes! These days, of course, she is known to thousands of fans of Game of Thrones, and she is elderly. I include a recent picture of her here. To me this picture says that old age does not mean the ruin of beauty, even though time and mortality alter it radically. in GOT, I have seen Ms Rigg give a half-smile that is exactly the same quizzical look she used to give as a young woman, and I think “Ah yes!”

I have come back to her today, because one of the TV channels I get showed On Her Majesty’s Secret Service yesterday, the unjustifiably under-estimated early James Bond movie, with male model George Lazenby in the role of the secret agent. I’m one of these people who believe that it is one of the best early Bond films, and that Lazenby’s inexperience as an actor gave the protagonist a coldness which he has in the novels by Ian Fleming but has not had in the movies until, perhaps, the days of Daniel Craig. In OHMSS, Diana Rigg played not simply a ‘Bond Girl’, but someone with whom 007 falls in love and marries. As such, she was a class above the boobs-on-legs stereotype.

2Mentioning ‘boobs-on-legs’ reminds me that when she played opposite Keith Mitchell in a stage adaptation of Abelard and Heloise, in a production with a nude scene – as she put it, “… the first major actress to get my knickers down” – she had to put up with reviewers making personal remarks about her body. An American critic wrote of her body, and he breasts in particular, “Diana Rigg is built like a brick mausoleum with insufficient flying buttresses.” A trifle un-gallant, and a whole heap sexist. He probably said nothing about Keith Mitchell’s dick. It is not recorded whether Ms Rigg went looking for him with Bond’s Walther PPK. Maybe she should have done, but then she’s a lady, and it’s not her style.

5I don’t recall staring at her figure when I was young, except I noticed that her shoulders were fairly broad. It was her face that fascinated me, those half-smiles, that occasionally broadened. At that age I was puzzled about why I wanted to kiss her. I remember watching the movie and thinking that – yes – George Lazenby was handsome, but I couldn’t wait for the scenes that featured Diana’s character. To me it was as though a subtle fragrance had suffused the room.

I don’t usually write like this about my early crushes… what’s come over me? Maybe I too am feeling old today – after all, we are coming close to the end of another year. Well, whatever the reason, I feel led to celebrate Diana Rigg’s beauty once more on these pages, so here are some more small images from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service for us all to enjoy.

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Images reproduced under ‘fair use’ provisions.

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