Friday, July 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Dame Diana, and Kate, too

It happens every year around the 20th of July. I realize that another year is past and Diana Rigg's birthday is about to happen again. When I was an undergraduate at UCSC, I was fooling around in the library when I discovered a book which gave information on British Actors. I looked up Diana Rigg. It gave an address and phone number. No I didn't try to call. It listed mainly her stage work and cited her role as Emma in the Avengers tv series. But mainly I got her birth date and her birthplace(Doncaster, Yorkshire, England). So every year about this time I think about her.

Making matters more complex is the fact that the character she played, Mrs Emma Peel, also has her dates of note: March 28(in 1966 when the Avengers debuted on American tv), January 20th(in 1967, when it was brought back for a second season, this time in color),January 10th(in 1968 its third return for American audiences) and March 20th(in the same year, the date Ms. Rigg's final episode aired here). Emma Peel is immortal. All you have to do is pop in a dvd and she is there. She always will be. Dame Diana is a mortal woman, one of the world's truly great actors and someone who has led a very different and truly courageous life. So as I age dramatically from the boy in his late teens who sat enthralled at the tv set when she was on, so she has changed with the years. It used to bother me that she was no longer the same age as Emma Peel. Yet if I want to be with Mrs Peel, all I have to do is pop in the dvd or turn on my imagination. So I guess I realize that I am no longer physically the same person I was in the mid to late sixties. Some videos are available of her on youtube at her current age. And she is beautiful. So bright, alive, and so quintissentially....Diana!! It gives me hope that in 10 years I can be that vital and that wise.

So on the eve of her 70th birthday(I turned 60 in June), I again take the time out to wish her health, happiness, and success. Did I wish she could have played Mrs Peel for more years? Absolutely, but I realize that her leaving the show spurred my life onto needed change. I spent the Saturday Night Social at the recent Santa Cruz Summer Retreat talking to a woman about Mrs Peel. She and her husband had recently together brought into being the now available dvd of last year's retreat held at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium. And I mentioned in some of the footage that the reason I started Martial Arts was because of Dame Diana in her role of Mrs. Peel. In retrospect I started an art where the receptive(feminine) energy is seen as powerful, dynamic and equal to the positive(masculine) force. And Ueshiba Osensei's aikido is still as ahead of its time as Diana Rigg's Emma Peel.

In another week we have the birthday of another of my favorites, the British actress Kate Beckinsale. I guess I do have a thing for tall, auburn haired, intelligent(Ms. Beckinsale studied Russian and French lit at Oxford) British actresses. Dame Diana and Kate astrologically both have their Venus in the sign of Virgo. They both have a strong Mars and Aries. Diana's Cancer sun is conjuncted by Mars. Kate's Mars is in its own sign of Aries as well. I was very disappointed to learn she will not be in Underworld 3, which means I will wait for the dvd. I hope that she, like Dame Diana, will continue to grow in roles, maybe do some theater, and stretch as an actress. Although I would love to see her play her Underworld role of Selene again.

I did a video for you tube which featured both actresses and both Emma Peel and Selene. So even though I have put it in a blog before, I am including it again.


Blogger Barry said...

Thank you! Lovely tribute the still beautiful and wonderful Dame Diana!
She indeed has shaped my life since I first saw her as Emma Peel and I have followed her career closely ever since. I am lucky enough to live in London and get to see her many times on stage. Thank you once again for your tribute!


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