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Maggie Smith

Maggie Smith

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: December 28, 1934 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Essex, England, GB Profession: Cast ...
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NOTES

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

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

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

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

Inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame in 1994.

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

"[Smith] looks like a pair of scissors ... a closed pair that cuts even when closed. She must be, I think, the narrowest creature ever to come through a stage door ... The range comes in part from her hands, which occasionally seem larger and more mobile than she does ... The velocity comes in part from her speech, which seems to have been recorded at 3-3/4 and played at 7-1/2 without the least loss of intelligibility." --Walter Kerr in a 1970 review.

Harold Clurman wrote of her performance in Tom Stoppard's "Night and Day": "Easy and always on target, she is above all endowed with a capacity to think funny."

"The etchings of style in a Maggie Smith performance are unmistakable. First observe the face, with its sharp, art-deco angles, which she tends to stretch into a long rectangle to chart psychic damage, the lines creased as if with a palette knife, the lips pressed taut, elongating the skin between her lips and her nose and lending it a moneyed air. She can alter the shape of her luminous nut-brown eyes to italicize a word or phrase. Her string-bean figure is Modigliani-like in some settings, meager and scarecrow-like in others. In comic roles, her wire-drawn body becomes a mannequin for wondrous costumes, especially hats. Her arms pain the air in broad waves of expressive color, and as she swivels her frame around, usually in counterpoint to her line readings, she does so many witty things with her rubbery wrists that they're almost always the first thing you focus on when she walks onstage or appears on-screen." --Steve Vineberg for Salon.com, June 7, 2000.

"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." --Dame Maggie Smith in a rare press interview in The Daily Telegraph, November 10, 2001.

"The most marvellous 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." --actor Alan Bates quoted in The Daily Telegraph, November 10, 2001.

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, January 13, 2002.

"She's terribly private, but I would say she's the least aloof person I know. She has a wicked sense of humour. 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, February 17, 2002.

"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." --Maggie Smith quoted in The Daily Telegraph, February 17, 2002.

"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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