Maggie Smith by Michael CoveneyNo one does glamour, severity, girlish charm or tight-lipped witticism better than Dame Maggie Smith. Michael Coveneys biography shines a light on the life and career of a truly remarkable performer, one whose stage and screen career spans six decades. From her days as a West End star of comedy and revue, Dame Maggies path would cross with those of the greatest actors, playwrights and directors of the era. Whether stealing scenes from Richard Burton, answering back to Laurence Olivier, or playing opposite Judi Dench in Breath of Life, her career can be seen as a Whos Who of British theatre. Her film and television career has been just as starry. From the title character in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and the meddling chaperone in A Room With a View to the Harry Potter films in which she played Minerva McGonagall (as she put it Miss Jean Brodie in a wizards hat) and the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel films in which she played the wise Muriel Donnelly, Smith has thrilled, engaged and made audiences laugh. As Violet Crawley, the formidable Dowager Countess of Downton Abbey she conquered millions more. Paradoxically she remains an enigmatic figure, rarely appearing in public. Michael Coveneys absorbing biography, written with the actresss blessing and drawing on personal archives, as well as interviews with immediate family and close friends, is a portrait of one of the greatest actors of our time.
Maggie Smith - Biography
Maggie Smith , in full Dame Margaret Natalie Smith , born December 28, , Ilford, Essex , England , English stage and motion-picture actress noted for her poignancy and wit in comic roles. Smith studied acting at the Oxford Playhouse School and began appearing in revues in Oxford in and London in She first achieved recognition in the Broadway revue New Faces of and held the lead comedian role in the London revue Share My Lettuce — She then began appearing regularly in plays at the Old Vic theatre in London. Smith had made her screen debut in in Nowhere to Go, but she only achieved international fame with her performance in the title role of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie , for which she received an Academy Award for best actress. Smith left the National Theatre in the early s and appeared for several seasons at the Stratford Ontario Festival. Her performance as an Oscar-nominated actress who bickers with her husband played by Michael Caine earned her a real-life Academy Award for best supporting actress.
But, how old is she, will she be in the Downton Abbey movie, and what are some of her most iconic roles? The Essex native is the daughter of an English public health pathologist father who worked at Oxford University and a Scottish secretary mother. She studied acting at the Oxford Playhouse and kicked off her career by playing Viola in Twelfth Night. Since then, her career has been full of iconic movies, fan-favourite television series, and countless awards. She has been married twice, firstly to Robert Stephens, with whom she has two sons Chris Larkin and Toby Stephens, and secondly yo Beverley Cross who died in The esteemed actress will in fact star in the Downton Abbey movie set to be released on September 13,
She has had an extensive, varied career on stage, film, and television, spanning over 67 years. Smith has appeared in more than 50 films, and is one of Britain's most recognisable actresses. She was made a Dame by Queen Elizabeth II in for contributions to the performing arts,  and received the Companion of Honour from the Queen in for services to drama. Smith began her career on stage as a student, performing at the Oxford Playhouse in , and made her professional debut on Broadway in New Faces of ' She is one of only six actresses to have won in both categories. She moved with her family to Oxford when she was four years old.
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To help visualize her height, we've included a side by., Sign in. Smith has been married twice: to actor Robert Stephens and to playwright Beverley Cross.
Born on December 28, , in Ilford, Essex, England, Dame Maggie Smith has led a distinguished, varied career on stage, in film and in television over the past six decades. Her achievements range from starring as Desdemona in Othello opposite Laurence Olivier, to winning an Academy Award for her performance in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie , to memorable roles in the acclaimed television series Downton Abbey and the popular Harry Potter films. When she was 4 years old, her family moved to Oxford, where her father worked as a pathologist at Oxford University. After graduating from high school, Smith attended the Oxford Playhouse School from to Her first role was a short, uncredited appearance in Child in the House in , followed by a larger part in the crime drama Nowhere to Go in Smith has received two Academy Awards. She received the first for best actress in , for her portrayal of an idealistic, unorthodox schoolteacher in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.