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British actress Maggie Smith's distinguished career includes performing opposite Laurence Olivier in Othello to an Academy Award-winning performance in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, to a role in the Harry Potter series.
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Since 2010, Smith has been acclaimed for her performance as the grandly irrepressible Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham, in the period drama Downton Abbey. She has received two Emmy Awards for playing the haughty, witty Dowager Countess.
Smith has been married twice. Her first marriage, to actor Robert Stephens in 1967, ended in divorce in 1974. Her two sons with Stephens, Toby Stephens and Chris Larkin, are both actors. In 1975, Smith married writer Beverley Cross, who died of cancer in 1998.
Smith was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1990.
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