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Maggie Smith stars in "Downton Abbey" as Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham.

On the big screen, Smith stars in "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," opposite Judi Dench and Bill Nighy, as Muriel Donnelly. Smith also recently starred in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2" as Hogwarts professor Minerva McGonagall, a role which she has played in almost all of the Harry Potter films. Smith also voiced the character of Lady Bluebury in the animated feature film "Gnomeo and Juliet" and starred in "Nanny McPhee Returns," opposite Emma Thompson.

One of the entertainment industry's most esteemed actresses, Maggie Smith has been honored numerous times for her work on the stage, screen and television. A two-time Academy Award winner, Smith won her first Oscar for her unforgettable performance in the title role of 1969's "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie," for which she also won a BAFTA Award and earned a Golden Globe Award nomination. A decade later, she won her second Oscar, as well as Golden Globe and Evening Standard Awards and a BAFTA Award nomination, for her role in "California Suite." More recently, Smith garnered Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA Award nominations for her performance in Robert Altman's "Gosford Park," also winning Screen Actors Guild and Critics' Choice Awards as part of the ensemble cast.

Smith's myriad film acting honors also include Oscar nominations for "Othello," "Travels with My Aunt" and "A Room with a View," for which she also won BAFTA and Golden Globe Awards; and BAFTA Awards for "A Private Function" and "The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne," also winning an Evening Standard Film Award for the latter. She more recently won an Emmy Award for her performance in the HBO movie "My House in Umbria."

Smith started acting on the stage in 1952 with the Oxford University Drama Society, and made her professional debut in New York in "The New Faces of 1956 Revue." Three years later, she joined the Old Vic Company, where she won the 1962 Evening Standard's Best Actress Award for her roles in "The Private Ear" and "The Public Eye." Joining the National Theatre in 1963, Smith played Desdemona to Laurence Olivier's "Othello." Her other notable National Theatre productions include "Black Comedy," "Miss Julie," "The Country Wife," "The Beaux Stratagem," "Much Ado About Nothing" and "Hedda Gabler."

But it was in 1969 that Smith was catapulted to screen stardom with her Oscar-winning performance in "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie." Today's film audiences know Smith best for her work in the "Harry Potter" movies, as well as her roles in such films as "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood," "The First Wives Club," "Sister Act," "The Secret Garden" and Steven Spielberg's "Hook." Her additional film credits include "Becoming Jane," "Ladies in Lavender," "The Last September," "Washington Square," "Richard III," "The Missionary," "Death on the Nile," "Murder by Death" and "The Honey Pot."

Throughout her career Smith has continued to appear on the stages of London and New York. She won a Tony Award for her performance in "Lettice and Lovage," and had earlier received Tony Award nominations for "Night and Day" and "Private Lives." She has also won Evening Standard Drama Awards for her performances in "Virginia" and "Three Tall Women."

On television, Smith has earned Emmy nominations for her roles in the telefilms "Suddenly, Last Summer" and "David Copperfield," for which she also received a BAFTA TV Award nomination. Additionally, she earned BAFTA TV Award nominations for the television movies "Memento Mori" and "Mrs. Silly," as well as the miniseries "Talking Heads," winning a Royal Television Society Award for the last.

She became a Dame in 1990 when she received the DBE, is a Fellow of the British Film Institute and was awarded a Silver BAFTA Lifetime Achievement Award in 1993.



MAGGIE SMITH: FACTS

How tall is Maggie Smith? How old is Maggie Smith? Find out here.

Age: 79 years old
Birthday: December 28, 1934
Height: 5' 5"
Full Name / Real Name: Margaret Natalie Smith
Birthplace: Ilford, Essex, England, UK
Husband: Beverley Cross (8/23/1975 - 3/20/1998, his death)
Robert Stephens (6/29/1967 - 5/6/1974, divorced, 2 children)





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