Lazenby and Rigg appeared alongside each other in the 1969 James Bond film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, with Rigg playing the feisty Contessa Teresa “Tracy” di Vicenzo Draco.
In the film, Diana played the first on-screen ‘Bond girl’ to win Bond’s heart and become his wife, Tracy Bond.
Tragically, the character was killed-off in a drive-by shooting at the film’s conclusion.
Now, one-time Bond actor George Lazenby, 81, has shared his own moving tribute to his former co-star.
Sharing a promotional image of the pair from the 1960s on Instagram, George penned: “I’m so sad to hear of the death of Diana Rigg.
“She undoubtedly raised my acting game when we made On Her Majesty’s Secret Service together in 1968-9.
“I remember the press conference at the Dorchester in London, knowing she was going to play my wife.
“We had fun together on the set of the movie in Switzerland and Portugal.
“Her depth of experience really helped me. We were good friends on set.”
The Australian actor also refuted claims of an on-set feud between the pair.
He continued: “Much was made of our supposed differences but that was the Press looking for a news story.
“I was sorry to have lost my wife in the film at the end. The death of Contessa Teresa di Vincenzo Draco created a memorable cinema moment over 50 years ago.
“As my new bride, Tracy Bond, I wept for her loss. Now, upon hearing of Dame Diana’s death, I weep again.
“My deepest condolences for her family. Love George xx”.
Diana would continue to be a star of stage and screen in the years after OHMSS, with younger fans adoring her turn as the acerbic Lady Olenna Tyrell in hit fantasy series Game of Thrones.
However, Lazenby previously told Entertainment Weekly in 2012 that a romance almost occurred between the pair.
He said: “We were going to have an affair as long as I didn’t mess around with other girls.
“I was screwing around with a girl in the stunt tent, and Diana was walking past and I was busted. So the deal was off.”
Diana could not be reached for comment at the time by the publication.
Of Lazenby’s behaviour on-set, Rigg told the Daily Mail in 2016: “He’d really throw his weight around. Oh, he was ghastly, and I had to marry the man!”
DameDiana Rigg (1938-2020)
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