02 August 1989: Chicago Tribune

Rigg Replacing Vincent Price On `Mystery'

You probably remember her best as Emma Peel from TV's "The Avengers." Diana Rigg, 20 years later, still looks as if she could fit into that black-leather suit that became her trademark.

Now she's wondering whether she can fit into the shoes of Vincent Price as host of PBS' "Mystery" when it returns in October.

There was a time when she could. It was years ago when the two played together in "Mystery of Blood." As the elegant actress recalls: "Vincent had problems with his feet from wearing shoes that didn't fit right. So when there was a closeup, he'd change into comfortable slippers. It was all I could do to keep from laughing when we shot the scene."

The London-based Rigg admits she decided to take the job quickly. Who wouldn't? As she explains, "All I do is fly to Boston for two weeks to shoot the introductions."

Her contract with Mobil, the sponsor, is for one year, but why come stateside for just two weeks' work? After all, she's still very active, having just finished performing in a Stephen Sondheim musical, "Follies," in London's West End.

"I regard myself as an ambassador for British shows," she said.

Rigg lives a dual life with her husband, Archie Stirling, an entrepreneur. In London, it's admittedly busy and hectic; in their country home in Scotland, where she fishes for salmon and has a dog that can retrieve, "it's leisurely," she says. She does, however, do a "certain amount of charity work."

"I've made a decision," she states firmly. "I now choose when to work. For the most part it's done so I'm not away a great length of time."

She bristles at the word "star," preferring instead to consider herself a "well-established" actress in England. Rigg was trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, then moved on to the Royal Shakespeare Company, acting her way through the classics.

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