Avengers Girl Emma Peel

Updated on March 4, 2019
Emma Peel
Emma Peel | Source

Diana Rigg is The Avengers' Emma Peel

Although Honor Blackman's Cathy Gale was the prototype Avengers girl, it was her successor Emma Peel, as portrayed by Diana Rigg, who became the most popular of the leather-clad heroines.

An ultra modern and ultra stylish female, she took The Avengers series to new heights of popularity and into the realms of cult television status.

Debuting in 1965, Emma Peel was probably my first schoolboy crush. What red-blooded male could resist this beautiful, self-assured woman with a wit that would not quit? Even her name would exude her effect on the male population - M-Appeal (Man Appeal) - hence Emma Peel.

Occasionally dressed in black leather, she was the equal of her partner John Steed, and was able to dispatch the baddies with the flick of a wrist or a well directed kick. She was a woman most men wanted and one that many women aspired to be.

Introducing Emma Peel: The Avengers Opening Credits

A Little History

Honor Blackman, the actress playing Cathy Gale, Emma's predecessor, had decided to leave The Avengers after two series, so it was now necessary to find her replacement.

There are reports that sixty actresses screen tested the new role with the producers settling on blond beauty, Elizabeth Shepherd. However, after filming one and half episodes, she was fired. No reliable explanation has ever been given for her dismissal, but some sources state that she lacked the necessary humour to carry the role in the direction the producers wanted.

This left the door open for another actress to fill Honor Blackman's leather boots. She was found via a then recent broadcast of a television drama. Her name was Diana Rigg.

Beautiful and gifted, her screen test with Patrick Macnee (John Steed) demonstrated the chemistry the producers wanted from their two leads...and Emma Peel was born.

Diana Rigg's introductory Avengers episode, The Town of No Return, was broadcast in the UK during September 1965. The impact of her appearance was almost immediate. Men wanted her while women wanted to be her.

Emma Peel's styling was noticeably different to that of Cathy Gale. Instead of judo, Emma was proficient in karate and kung-fu and while she wore the occasional leather catsuit, there was a move to softer and more flexible outfits for Ms. Rigg. Nevertheless, Emma was as equally as emancipated as Cathy.

Such was the popularity of The Avengers in Europe that it was not long before the USA was able to appreciate Emma's attributes. The series was now produced on film allowing for broadcast in the States, and with American money, made the transition from black and white to colour.

As a result, Emma and her show become a global phenomenon. A clothing line was introduced across Europe and Diana Rigg was now a star, recognised wherever she went.

It was not to last, however. Diana was neither fully comfortable with the fame the role brought, nor the relentless filming schedule, and decided to quit the role. After two seasons she was gone, but during her tenure she carved out an indelible place in television history.

The Colour Intro


Farewell Emma Peel

Emma in Action
Emma in Action | Source

What do you think of Emma Peel? - The Emma Peel Poll

What's Your Favorite Emma Peel Characteristic?

See results

Questions & Answers

    © 2008 Richard

    Are You An Emma Peel Fan?

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • Richard-H profile imageAUTHOR


        5 years ago from Surrey, United Kingdom

        Avengers girl in the same way 007 has his 'Bond girls' :)

      • Paul Ward profile image


        7 years ago from Liverpool, England

        Ah, the snake. Made an impression on me as a young boy - I have no idea why.

      • profile image


        8 years ago

        I asked my husband what he thought of Emma Peel. He said emphatically 'Loved Her!" It was a great show. I had to laugh at the Twitter feed, most are talking about their tan peeling, lol.

      • JohnTannahill profile image

        John Tannahill 

        8 years ago from Somewhere in England

        Thanks - great lens

      • Rangoon House profile image


        8 years ago from Australia

        I am now!

      • JaneEyre9999 profile image


        8 years ago

        Mrs. Peel, we're needed!

      • profile image


        8 years ago

        She was awesome! Great lens.

      • profile image


        8 years ago

        One of my favorite characters of all time!

      • Art-Aspirations profile image


        8 years ago


      • mariaamoroso profile image


        8 years ago from Sweden

        I have never seen this beautiful face before. Thanks for the introduction.

      • Ann Hinds profile image

        Ann Hinds 

        8 years ago from So Cal

        I am an Avenger fan and preferred Emma Peel, Fun lens for a trip down memory lane. Occasionally we are able to catch a rerun or two and never miss them.

      • profile image


        8 years ago

        classic babe!

      • profile image


        9 years ago

        The sentence 'Was Emma Peel The Best Avengers Girl' needs re-wording as 'Emma Peel was the Best Avengers Girl'.

      • FanfrelucheHubs profile image

        Nathalie Roy 

        9 years ago from France (Canadian expat)

        I love Emma Peel, she is the best and Diana Rigg is just amazing:) Blessed by this squidoo Angel (no April's Fool!).

      • profile image


        9 years ago

        A very talented actress!

      • TonyPayne profile image

        Tony Payne 

        9 years ago from Southampton, UK

        Well I finally got my angel wings, and I'm pleased to Bless this iconic lens about one of my favourite actresses. This is a great tribute to Diana Rigg.

      • AgingIntoDisabi profile image


        9 years ago

        I luv the Avengers and Emma Peel. Wasn't she hosting Masterpiece theater a while back?

      • KokoTravel profile image


        9 years ago

        She is one of those that I watched growing up... inspiring for women.

      • Addy Bell profile image

        Addy Bell 

        9 years ago

        I'm a Diana Rigg fan. In the States, I first met her when she hosted the PBS show "Mystery" in the nineties. She's one of my all-time faves, and I keep meaning to look up The Avengers.

        Appropriately enough, the captcha word for this comment is "pishposh" :)

      • profile image


        9 years ago

        Emma Peel = what a remarkable icon!

      • MargoPArrowsmith profile image


        9 years ago

        She is the Godmother of female action heros!

      • Mrmakingusmile LM profile image

        Mrmakingusmile LM 

        9 years ago

        Awesome lens. Learn something new everyday. Thanks for making me smile.

      • thesuccess2 profile image


        9 years ago

        My Squidoo security word was ubermeow which says it all about Emma Peel

      • profile image

        the777group lm 

        9 years ago

        I never got the pun "M. Appeal" - Great!

      • jimmielanley profile image

        Jimmie Quick 

        9 years ago from Memphis, TN, USA

        She's beautiful. I remember watching these shows with my mom who introduced them to me. (They were old then.)

      • mythphile profile image

        Ellen Brundige 

        9 years ago from California

        You forgot "she kicks ass" for why Emma rocks. Remember, in "The Proper Way to Kill," while rifling through the Russian spy's filing cabinet, Ms. Peel finds a picture of Steed with "Very Dangerous... Handle With Care" and one of herself with "Extremely Dangerous -- Do NOT Handle" or something to that effect.

        For many years, my cellphone's ringtone was the theme song of the Avengers. :)

      • Virginia Allain profile image

        Virginia Allain 

        9 years ago from Central Florida

        Great topic... sure wish I'd thought of it first!

      • profile image


        9 years ago

        Absolutely a great lens to visit. I am a fan of Emma Peel.

        A stroll down memory lane. - bert

      • Wednesday-Elf profile image


        9 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

        The "Avengers" was one of my very favorite TV shows in the 1960s and Emma Peel was my 'imaginary' alter ego. Her style and wit were delightful and the confidence in herself that she showed was what I aspired to be.

      • profile image


        9 years ago

        Oh please Richard, don't tell me someone could not know who's Emma Peel? Mrs Peel... Oh what a wonderful lens! I loved the Avengers so much!

      • PNWtravels profile image

        Vicki Green 

        9 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

        Absolutely an Emma Peel fan! Great lens that brought back fond memories!


      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, reelrundown.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

      Show Details
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)