Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Remember the Avengers? And Emma Peel?

There is a low-boughed tree in the Chelsea Physic Garden that bears strange blossom: a tall, broad-shouldered woman with a straight spine and a thick bob of dyed blonde hair. It is Dame Diana Rigg, and she is standing under the tree, with her head in the branches, because our photographer has asked her to. When she emerges picking petals from her hair, she looks to the overcast sky and says, 'This flat light is very good for a woman of my age.'

Since she mentions it, she turns 70 this month. And although she looks her age in a way that, say, Julie Christie, her fellow 1960s sex symbol, does not, her strong features - retroussé nose and high cheekbones, down-turned eyes and mouth - are still softly handsome. Dressed in pin-stripe trousers and a red jacket, and with only a suggestion of make-up, she seems comfortable with herself. Too dignified to be vain. Not the cosmetic surgery type. (Actually, that's not quite true. She had the wrinkles around her eyes removed when she was 44, but that was it.)  More...

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