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The great Maggie Smith as Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham.
Dame Margaret Natalie "Maggie" Smith, DBE (born 28 December 1934) is a British film, stage and television actress. She made her stage debut in 1952 and has had an extensive, varied career in stage, film and television spanning over sixty years. Smith has appeared in over 50 films and is one of Britain's most recognisable actresses.
She first drew praise for the crime film Nowhere to Go (1958), for which she received her first BAFTA Award nomination. Her 1965 film role as Desdemona, in William Shakespeare's Othello, earned her an Academy Award nomination (the first of her six) and a Golden Globe nomination. Since then Smith has worked consistently in film, television and stage, establishing herself as one of the most respected British actresses. Her most notable films include The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Travels with My Aunt, Murder by Death, California Suite, Death on the Nile, Evil Under the Sun, A Private Function, A Room with a View, The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne, Gosford Park and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. She has also appeared in a number of widely popular films, including Clash of the Titans, Hook, both Sister Act films, and as Professor Minerva McGonagall in the highly successful Harry Potter film series. She currently stars in the critically acclaimed drama Downton Abbey as Violet Crawley, the Dowager Countess of Grantham, for which she has won a Golden Globe and two consecutive Emmy awards.
She has won numerous awards for her acting in theatre, film and television; including seven BAFTA Awards (five competitive awards and two special awards including the BAFTA Fellowship in 1996), two Academy Awards, three Golden Globes, three Emmy Awards, a Tony Award and an Honorary Olivier Award. Smith is one of the few actresses to have won the Triple Crown of Acting. In September 2012, she was honoured with the Stratford Shakespeare Festival's Legacy Award. She accepted the award, presented to her by Christopher Plummer, in a star-studded ceremony at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel.
She is one of only five actresses to win Oscars in both lead and supporting categories.
March 20th, 2013
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