Many years ago, I watched the Agatha Christie: Poirot episode "Five Little Pigs" (2003) starring my favorite Poirot, David Suchet. It wasn't until some time later that I made a connection about members of its supporting cast.
In "Five Little Pigs", Rachael Stirling plays Caroline Crale, a wife hanged for poisoning her husband. It turns out that Stirling is the daughter of Dame Diana Rigg, famous for her roles as Emma Peel in The Avengers and Mrs. Adela Bradley in The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries, among many others.
|a young Diana Rigg|
|mother and daughter|
Back to the cast of "Five Little Pigs", Toby Stephens plays Philip Blake, a man who pines for Caroline. In reality, Stephens is the son of Dame Maggie Smith, who is quite well-known today as the Dowager Countess of Grantham in Downton Abbey and Professor Minerva McGonagall in the Harry Potter series. But I will always remember her first and foremost as Dora Charleston in the 1976 gem Murder by Death.
|a young Maggie Smith|
|Stirling and Stephens in Five Little Pigs|
Now my a-ha moment came when I realized that there was a Poirot connection that ties the mothers of co-stars Rachael Stirling and Toby Stephens together, just as it does their offspring. Diana Rigg and Maggie Smith were part of the all-star cast in the luxurious 1982 production of Evil Under the Sun, starring Peter Ustinov as Hercule Poirot. Alongside Jane Birkin and Roddy McDowall, Rigg and Smith shared magical screen time together. When the cameras weren't rolling, perhaps the two ladies took in the sights of Majorca, Spain with Smith's then 13-year old son Toby and Riggs' then 5-year old daughter Rachael.
|on the set of Evil Under the Sun|
For those of you who are fans of Stargate SG-1, the wife of Toby Stephens happens to be Anna-Louise Plowman, a familiar face who played Dr. Sarah Gardner, a colleague of Daniel Jackson's, who was taken over by the scary-voiced Goa'uld Osiris.
|Stephens with wife Plowman|
Until next time....