In 1990, Dame Diana won a best actress Bafta TV award for playing a difficult mother-in-law in Mother Love.

The actress also won a Bafta special award in 2000 for The Avengers, shared with the series’ other stars Honor Blackman, Joanna Lumley and Linda Thorson.

Dame played the Duchess of Buccleuch in the royal drama, and can currently be seen playing Mrs Pumphrey in Channel 5’s new adaptation of All Creatures Great and small.

Dame Diana is also known for playing Tracy, the only woman who became Mrs James Bond, in 1969 film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

“I love playing bad [characters]. They are so much more interesting than good.

“There are some actors who don’t like to play bad; they like to be liked. I love to be disliked. Olenna had the best lines.” she said in an interview last year.

She died peacefully early this morning. She was at home with her family who have asked for privacy at this difficult time,” her agent said.

Dame Diana is also known for playing Tracy, the only woman who became Mrs James Bond, in 1969 film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

She died at 82.