Her feisty Avengers alter-ego would have karate-kicked any man who dared patronise her.
But it appears that when it comes to equality of the sexes, Diana Rigg is much less strident in real life.
Despite being an icon to women’s rights campaigners since the Sixties, the 74-year-old actress has denied being a feminist, saying she likes it when a man displays old-fashioned courtesy.
Her character was hailed by feminists for her intelligence, independence and martial arts skills.
But Dame Diana denied she was a feminist icon, telling the Radio Times: ‘I was thought to be, but never was really.
‘I kept my mouth shut for the most part. It’s a question of economics. If you’re paid the same as a man, which now you are in this profession, you’re equal. If a man holds a door open for me or pulls back a chair so that this old bag can sit down, I’m delighted.