Maggie Smith

Actor, Singer, Stage manager
One of the most revered actresses on both sides of the Atlantic, Maggie Smith created a gallery of indelible characters on stage and screen, which ran the gamut from repressed spinsters to comical eccentrics. Smith ... Read more »
Born: 12/27/1934 in Essex, England, GB

Filmography

Actor (66)

Downton Abbey 2010 - 2016 (TV Show)

Actor

The Lady in the Van 2015 (Movie)

Miss Shepherd (Actor)

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2015 (Movie)

Muriel Donnelly (Actor)

My Old Lady 2014 (Movie)

Mathilde Girard (Actor)

Quartet 2012 (Movie)

Jean Horton (Actor)

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2012 (Movie)

Muriel Donnelly (Actor)

Gnomeo & Juliet 2011 (Movie)

Lady Bluebury (Voice)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 2011 (Movie)

Professor Minerva McGonagall (Actor)

Nanny McPhee Returns 2010 (Movie)

Mrs. Docherty (Actor)

From Time to Time 2009 (Movie)

(Actor)

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince 2009 (Movie)

Professor Minerva McGonagall (Actor)

Becoming Jane 2007 (Movie)

Lady Gresham (Actor)

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix 2007 (Movie)

Minerva McGonagall (Actor)

Keeping Mum 2006 (Movie)

Grace Hawkins (Actor)

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 2005 (Movie)

Professor Minerva McGonagall (Actor)

Ladies in Lavender 2005 (Movie)

Janet Widdington (Actor)

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban 2004 (Movie)

Professor Minerva McGonagall (Actor)

When I Was A Girl 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)

Actor

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood 2002 (Movie)

Caro (Actor)

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2002 (Movie)

Professor Minerva McGonagall (Actor)

Gosford Park 2001 (Movie)

Constance, Countess of Trentham (Actor)

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone 2001 (Movie)

Professor Minerva McGonagall (Actor)

All the King's Men 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

David Copperfield 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

The Last September 2000 (Movie)

Lady Myra (Actor)

Tea With Mussolini 1999 (Movie)

Lady Hester (Actor)

Curtain Call 1998 (Movie)

Lili Marlow (Actor)

Washington Square 1997 (Movie)

Aunt Lavinia Penniman (Actor)

The First Wives Club 1996 (Movie)

Gunilla Garson Goldberg (Actor)

Richard III 1995 (Movie)

Duchess of York (Actor)

Memento Mori 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit 1993 (Movie)

Mother Superior (Actor)

Suddenly Last Summer 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

The Secret Garden 1993 (Movie)

Mrs Medlock (Actor)

Sister Act 1992 (Movie)

Mother Superior (Actor)

Hook 1991 (Movie)

Granny Wendy Darling (Actor)

The 44th Annual Tony Awards 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Romeo-Juliet 1989 (Movie)

of Rozaline (Voice)

Talking Heads: Bed Among the Lentils 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne 1987 (Movie)

Judith Hearne (Actor)

A Room With A View 1986 (Movie)

Charlotte Bartlett (Actor)

Lily in Love 1985 (Movie)

Lily (Actor)

A Private Function 1983 (Movie)

Joyce Chilvers (Actor)

Better Late Than Never 1983 (Movie)

Anderson (Actor)

Evil Under the Sun 1982 (Movie)

Daphne Castle (Actor)

Clash of the Titans 1981 (Movie)

Thetis (Actor)

Quartet 1981 (Movie)

Lois Heidler (Actor)

The Missionary 1980 (Movie)

Lady Ames (Actor)

California Suite 1978 (Movie)

Diana Barrie (Actor)

Death on the Nile 1978 (Movie)

Miss Bowers (Actor)

Murder By Death 1975 (Movie)

Dora Charleston (Actor)

Love, Pain and the Whole Damned Thing 1972 (Movie)

Lila Fisher (Actor)

Travels With My Aunt 1972 (Movie)

Aunt Augusta (Actor)

Oh! What A Lovely War 1969 (Movie)

Music Hall Star (Actor)

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie 1969 (Movie)

Jean Brodie (Actor)

Hot Millions 1968 (Movie)

Patty Terwilliger (Actor)

The Honey Pot 1966 (Movie)

Sarah Watkins (Actor)

Othello 1965 (Movie)

Desdemona (Actor)

Young Cassidy 1965 (Movie)

Nora (Actor)

The Pumpkin Eater 1964 (Movie)

Philpot (Actor)

The V.I.P.s 1963 (Movie)

Miss Mead (Actor)

Go to Blazes 1961 (Movie)

(Actor)

Nowhere to Go 1958 (Movie)

Bridget Howard (Actor)

Capturing Mary (TV Show)

Actor

Merchant of Venice (TV Show)

Actor

My House in Umbria (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

One of the most revered actresses on both sides of the Atlantic, Maggie Smith created a gallery of indelible characters on stage and screen, which ran the gamut from repressed spinsters to comical eccentrics. Smith quickly became an actress of note with performances in several Shakespeare plays before making an auspicious feature debut in "Nowhere to Go" (1959), before stealing the show in "The VIPs" (1963) and gaining international acclaim for her Oscar-winning performance in "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" (1969). While making her name in dramatic roles, Smith proved equally adept at comedy, particularly with a standout turn as a sophisticated sleuth among an all-star cast in "Murder by Death" (1976). She earned another Academy Award for her brilliant portrayal of a crumbling actress in "California Suite" (1978) before transitioning to a repressed spinster in "A Room with a View" (1986). Though she appeared in a supporting capacity in broad Hollywood movies like "Hook" (1991) and "Sister Act" (1992), Smith found comfort on Broadway and London stages while continuing to earn acclaim for smaller films like "Tea with Mussolini" (1998) and Robert Altman's "Gosford Park" (2001). Smith reached her widest audience with "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" (2001) and its numerous sequels, and earned critical acclaim as Dowager Countess of Grantham on the wildly popular series "Downton Abbey" (ITV/PBS, 2010- ), allowing her the opportunity to impress a whole new generation as she continued to maintain her reputation as one of the greatest actresses of all time.

Relationships

Beverley Cross Screenplay

Husband
First became romantically involved in the early 1950s Split in the mid-1960s when Smith fell in love with Robert Stephens Rekindled relationship in the early 1970s Married from Aug. 23, 1975 until Cross' death on March 28, 1998

Chris Larkin Actor

Son
Born June 19, 1967; father, Robert Stephens

Margaret Little

Mother
Scottish

Nathaniel Smith

Father
Worked at Oxford University

Alistair Smith

Brother
Born Dec. 8, 1928; twin of Ian

Ian Smith

Brother
Born Dec. 8, 1928; twin of Alistair

Toby Stephens Actor

Son
Born April 21, 1969; father, Robert Stephens

Robert Stephens Actor

Husband
Married June 29, 1967; marriage was troubled by her career success, and his alcoholism and bouts of depression Divorced May 6, 1974

EDUCATION

Oxford High School for Girls

1947 - 1951

Oxford Playhouse School

1951 - 1953
Enrolled at age 16

Milestones

2012

Co-starred in ensemble comedy drama "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel"

2012

Played a retired opera singer opposite Tom Courtenay, Pauline Collins, and Billy Connolly in "Quartet," Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut

2011

Reprised Prof. Minerva McGonagall for the last feature in the series "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2"

2011

Nominated for the 2011 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie

2010

Earned critical praise for her role as the Dowager Countess of Grantham on the British period drama "Downton Abbey" (PBS)

2010

Earned an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie for "Capturing Mary" (BBC, 2007)

2010

Co-starred with Emma Thompson in the family comedy "Nanny McPhee Returns"

2009

Reprised the role of Prof. McGonagall in "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," the sixth book in the fantasy series directed by David Yates

2007

Reprised the role of Prof. McGonagall in "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix"

2007

Appeared opposite Anne Hathaway in the period film "Becoming Jane"

2006

Played Rowan Atkinson’s housekeeper in the British comedy "Keeping Mum"

2005

Reprised role of Prof. McGonagall in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" directed by Mike Newell

2004

Again portrayed Professor McGonagall in "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" directed by Alfonso Cuarón

2002

Starred in the tv-movie "My House in Umbria"; received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress

2002

Starred opposite Judi Dench in David Hare's stage play "The Breath of Life"; reprised role on Broadway in 2003

2002

Reprised role of Professor McGonagall in "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets"

2001

Portrayed Prof. Minerva McGonagall in "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone"; adapted from the first novel in the best-sellling fantasy series by J.K. Rowling

2001

Portrayed the contemptuous Countess of Trentham in Robert Altman's ensemble "Gosford Park"; earned a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination

2000

Headlined the British film "The Last September" as a member of the British aristocracy in 1920s Ireland

1999

Starred in Alan Bennett's play "The Lady in the Van"

1999

Appeared alongside Judi Dench, Cher and Joan Plowright in Franco Zeffirelli's "Tea With Mussolini"

1999

Played Aunt Betsey in BBC remake of "David Copperfield"; aired in USA on PBS in 2000; received Emmy nomination

1998

Reteamed with Michael Caine for the supernatural comedy "Curtain Call" (aired on Starz!)

1997

Earned praise for her turn as the meddlesome aunt in "Washington Square"

1997

Starred in the London stage production of Edward Albee's "A Delicate Balance"

1996

Reprised TV role in London stage production of "Bed Among the Lentils"

1995

Played the Duchess of York in "Richard III" starring Ian McKellen and directed by Richard Loncraine

1994

Starred in London staging of Edward Albee's award-winning "Three Tall Women"

1993

Played Lady Bracknell in a highly praised turn in London revival of "The Importance of Being Earnest"

1993

Starred in TV remake of Tennessee Williams' "Suddenly, Last Summer" (PBS); garnered an Emmy nomination

1993

Cast as Mrs. Metlock in the remake of "The Secret Garden"

1992

Co-starred with Whoopi Goldberg as the mother superior in the comedy "Sister Act"; reprised role in "Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit" (1993)

1991

Played an aged Wendy Darling in the Steven Spielberg directed, "Hook"

1988

Created the role of Lettice Douffet in Peter Shaffer's play "Lettice and Lovage" in London; reprised role in NYC in 1990 and earned a Tony Award

1987

Made rare but memorable TV appearance in the "Bed Among the Lentils" segment of the "Talking Heads" series of one-person dramas scripted by Alan Bennett; premiered on British TV and aired in USA on PBS' "Masterpiece Theatre"

1986

Co-starred as the meddling chaperone in "A Room with a View"; earned Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nomination

1984

Reteamed with Palin to co-star in the Alan Bennett-scripted comedy "A Private Function"

1982

Acted in second film adapted from an Agatha Christie mystery "Evil Under the Sun"

1982

Co-starred with Michael Palin in the comedy "The Missionary"

1980

Portrayed writer Virginia Woolf in "Virgina" at Stratford (recreated the role in London's West End in 1981)

1979

Returned to Broadway recreating her London stage role in Tom Stoppard's play "Night and Day"; earned a Tony nomination

1978

Offered a scene-stealing turn in "Death on the Nile"; adapted from an Agatha Christie mystery

1978

Won second Oscar for her turn opposite Michael Caine playing an Oscar-nominated actress in "California Suite"; scripted by Neil Simon

1976

Played Dora Charleston, a spoof of Myrna Loy's Nora Charles in the Neil Simon-scripted "Murder By Death"

1974

Made rare TV guest appearance on "The Carol Burnett Show" (CBS)

1972

Earned Best Actress Academy Award nomination as Best Actress for "Travels with My Aunt"

1972

Headlined a London production of Noel Coward's "Private Lives"

1968

Won first Oscar for the role of a fascistic Scottish schoolteacher at an all-girl's school in "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie"

1967

Played featured role in "The Honey Pot"

1965

Earned first Academy Award nomination reprising her stage role of Desdemona in a film adaptation of "Othello"

1963

First major film role, opposite Rod Taylor and Richard Burton in "The VIPs"

1963

Joined National Theatre as a charter member; played Desdemona to Olivier's "Othello"

1962

Offered praiseworthy performances in "The Public Ear" and "The Private Eye"

1959

Official feature film debut in "Nowhere to Go"

1959

Was a member of the Old Vic company, where she first played opposite Laurence Olivier in "Rhinoceros"

1957

Made London stage debut in "Share My Lettuce"

1956

Broadway debut in the sketch revue "New Faces of '56"

1956

Made uncredited appearance as a party guest in "Child in the House"

1952

Stage debut in Oxford University Dramatic Society production of "Twelfth Night"

1939

Family moved to Oxford

Spent first five years in Ilford, England

Was an assistant stage manager and performer at the Oxford Playhouse

Had title role in the National Theatre production of "Miss Julie"

Headlined an L.A. stage production of "The Guardsman"

Bonus Trivia

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Smith suffered from Grave's disease for a number of years.

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She was made Commander of the British Empire in 1969 and a Dame Commander of the British Empire in 1990.

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She was a recipient of the Taormina Gold Award in 1985.

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Smith received honorary doctorates from The University of Cambridge and the University of St. Andrews, Scotland.

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Smith was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame in 1994.

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She received the 1999 William Shakespeare Award for Classical Theatre presented by the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, DC.

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"When I started acting almost 50 years ago, it wasn't about fame. It was about acting. What is required of actors today is beyond credence. If you want to act these days, it seems to be vital that you tell the world everything about your private life and remove every single garment you possess while you are about it. There's absolutely no mystery any more." – Smith quoted in the Daily Telegraph, Nov. 10, 2001

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"The most marvelous thing about Maggie is that she can go from comedy to tragedy in one sentence. She's very like me in that she thinks things are disastrous and hilarious in equal measure. We are both very lugubrious, but we both like to have a laugh as well." – Alan Bates quoted in the Daily Telegraph, Nov. 10, 2001

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Smith admits she autographs anything thrust in front of her, although she points out, "I used to write 'Glenda Jackson,' It saves time if that's who they think you are." – from Newsday, Jan. 13, 2002

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"She's terribly private, but I would say she's the least aloof person I know. She has a wicked sense of humor. If you have dinner with her, the next day you literally ache from having laughed so much." – an unidentified friend of the actress' quoted in the Daily Telegraph, Feb. 17, 2002

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"If you live long enough in England, they think you're amazing. What's that thing they say about English actors? `You're too old for the part, you're too young for the part or you're just Wonderful because you've survived.' So that's what that's about. It's not about anything else." – Smith quoted in the Daily Telegraph, Feb. 17, 2002

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"Yes, it's true. I'm always playing this sort of formidable woman, I suppose. It is funny, how you get sort of stuck with that. It's boring." – Smith quoted in Entertainment Weekly, March 15, 2002

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According to an article in The Telegraph published March 18, 2008, Smith was reportedly battling breast cancer.

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