Dame Diana Rigg, who neither Ernst Stavro Blofeld nor Cersei Lannister could finish for good, has finally run out of time today.
Rigg, who rose to fame opposite John Steed before marrying James Bond, had the art of effortlessly outclassing a succession of suave secret agents, wannabe despots and Machiavellian leaders with little more than a knowing smile and a twinkle to her eye.
In some cases literally little more, as she designed a costume that got an episode of the Avengers banned from British television in the 1960s; the image of Diana Rigg in a corset, collar, snake and little else was a formative experience for several generations of teenage boys – and their fathers.
Despite a conga-line of models and heiresses, Diana was the only woman Janes Bond ever truly loved enough to marry, and after her death, he remained single for more than forty years.
Even in her later years, she was easily capable of racing down several murderous clans of throne-hungry murderers; eventually, only several hundred gallons of explosives were enough to stop her.
Diana showed the art of strength in tiny gestures; a half-smile, a crinkle the eye, a glance; fearless in adversity, no villain could beat her. Tied to a chair with death inches away, the best anyone would ever get was a confident quip.
But that’s a phrase which would sum her up: the best anyone would ever get.