When leggy, 5'9" brunette actress Linda Thorson replaced Diana Rigg on the long-running British TV adventure series The Avengers, one critic summed up Thorson as "a cute trick, but not in Diana's league." Hold on there! Though Thorson was only 20, she was no mere bubble-headed starlet. The daughter of a Canadian math and physics teacher, she was a trained dancer and an alumnus of London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. She had previously won speaking and singing honors while in school, and was well on her way to a prestigious stage career when she was selected from a field of 200 actresses to play Tara King, the new partner of crimefighter John Steed(Patrick MacNee) on The Avengers. Some fans of the series have a low regard of Thorson's contributions, citing her misguided efforts to inject more sexual tension between Tara and Steed, and her tendency to react more fearfully to dangerous situations than the unflappable Rigg. In point of fact, Thorson was only following orders; the producers of The Avengers were responsible for the questionable "improvements" in their flagging property. After the series' cancellation in 1969, Thorson launched her stage career in earnest, racking up respectable credits on the British stage and in such films as Valentino (1977) and The Great Tycoon (1979). She won a Theatre World Award for her 1982 Broadway debut in Steaming, and proved a superb farceur in the Alan Ayckbourn stage comedy Noises Off. The mature, poised, wryly self-confident Linda Thorson who co-starred on the 1986 TV comedy series Marblehead Manor was a far cry from the slightly awkward, plucked-eyebrowed nymphet who co-starred in the waning days of The Avengers.