Maggie Smith


Actor
Maggie Smith

About

Also Known As
Dame Maggie Smith, Margaret Natalie Smith
Birth Place
Essex, England, GB
Born
December 28, 1934

Biography

One of the most revered actresses on both sides of the Atlantic, Maggie Smith created a gallery of indelible characters on stage and screen, which ran the gamut from repressed spinsters to comical eccentrics. Smith quickly became an actress of note with performances in several Shakespeare plays before making an auspicious feature debut in "Nowhere to Go" (1959), before stealing the show ...

Family & Companions

Robert Stephens
Husband
Actor. Married on June 29, 1967; marriage was troubled by her career success and his alcoholism and bouts of depression; separated in 1974; divorced in February 1975; father of Smith's two sons; died in 1995 at age 64.
Beverley Cross
Husband
Author. Married from June 23, 1975 until his death on March 20, 1998 at age 66; first became romantically involved in the early 1950s; became engaged; separated in the mid-60s when she fell in love with Robert Stephens; re-met in the early 1970s and rekindled relationship.

Bibliography

"Maggie Smith, A Bright Particular Star"
Michael Coveney

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.

Biography

One of the most revered actresses on both sides of the Atlantic, Maggie Smith created a gallery of indelible characters on stage and screen, which ran the gamut from repressed spinsters to comical eccentrics. Smith quickly became an actress of note with performances in several Shakespeare plays before making an auspicious feature debut in "Nowhere to Go" (1959), before stealing the show in "The VIPs" (1963) and gaining international acclaim for her Oscar-winning performance in "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" (1969). While making her name in dramatic roles, Smith proved equally adept at comedy, particularly with a standout turn as a sophisticated sleuth among an all-star cast in "Murder by Death" (1976). She earned another Academy Award for her brilliant portrayal of a crumbling actress in "California Suite" (1978) before transitioning to a repressed spinster in "A Room with a View" (1986). Though she appeared in a supporting capacity in broad Hollywood movies like "Hook" (1991) and "Sister Act" (1992), Smith found comfort on Broadway and London stages while continuing to earn acclaim for smaller films like "Tea with Mussolini" (1998) and Robert Altman's "Gosford Park" (2001). Smith reached her widest audience with "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" (2001) and its numerous sequels, and earned critical acclaim as Dowager Countess of Grantham on the wildly popular series "Downton Abbey" (ITV/PBS, 2010-16), allowing her the opportunity to impress a whole new generation as she continued to maintain her reputation as one of the greatest actresses of all time.

Born on Dec. 28, 1934 in Ilford, Essex, England, Smith was raised by her father, Nathaniel, a pathologist at Oxford University, and her mother, Margaret. From the time she was eight years old, Smith was determined to become an actress. At age 17, Smith was playing Viola in a production of "Twelfth Night" (1952) and the Oxford Playhouse School, where she also served as an assistant stage manager while studying her craft. Four years later, Smith was singing and dancing on Broadway in the sketch revue "New Faces of '56" (1956), while making her uncredited film debut as a party guest in "Child in the House" (1956). Following her London stage debut in "Save My Lettuce" (1957), Smith made her official film debut in the crime drama, "Nowhere to Go" (1959), which earned her a BAFTA Award nomination for Best Newcomer. Back to the stage once again, she joined The Old Vic Theatre and performed in productions of "As You Like It" (1959) and "Richard II" (1959) before being cast opposite Laurence Olivier for a production of "Rhinoceros."

By 1962, Smith was earning her first accolades in the Peter Shaffer double bill "The Private Ear" and "The Public Eye." The following year, she earned plaudits for her first major film role, playing a love-starved secretary secretly attracted to her boss in "The VIPs" (1963), her stellar performance led co-star Richard Burton to half-jokingly accuse her of "grand larceny." Also in 1963, Olivier invited her to become a charter member of the National Theatre and cast her as his Desdemona in "Othello," which she recreated on screen in the 1965 film version, earning her first Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actress. Meanwhile, the 1960s were a heady time for Smith. In addition to building her impressive resume with acclaimed roles, she embarked on a torrid love affair with the still-married actor, Robert Stephens, causing a minor scandal when she gave birth to their first child in June 1967. Following their marriage that same year, she and Stephens ironically co-starred as illicit lovers in "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" (1969), critics and audiences were captivated by her performance as a neurotic and fascistic Scottish schoolteacher, which was impressive enough to earn her an Academy Award for Best Actress.

Having taken time out to give birth to a second son in 1969, Smith was back at the top of her game in 1972, headlining a London revival of Noel Coward's "Private Lives" and starring as the oddball relative sojourning across Europe in "Travels With My Aunt," a performance that netted her another Best Actress Oscar nomination. Following the collapse of her union with Stephens due to her success and his alcoholism, she embarked on a second marriage to playwright and old beau Beverley Cross, while turning in quality performances in films like "Murder by Death" (1976), an all-star whodunit spoof in which she played the cultured wife of Dick Charleston (David Niven). Two years later, she delivered an acclaimed performance in the Agatha Christie adaptation of "Death on the Nile" (1978), before Neil Simon provided her with one of her richest roles in "California Suite" (1978). Smith played Diana Barrie, an insecure British actress coping with a crumbling marriage to her Hollywood husband (Michael Caine) and the spotlight glare brought on by an Academy Award nomination. Although her onscreen character may have lost the coveted statue, Smith took home the Oscar in real life for her nuanced portrayal.

In 1979, Smith returned to Broadway to recreate her London success in Tom Stoppard's play "Night and Day," earning herself a deserved Tony Award nomination. After a supporting part in Peter Ustinov's mildly entertaining "Evil Under the Sun" (1982), Smith proved to be a hilarious foil for Michael Palin in two comedies: "The Missionary" (1982) and "A Private Function" (1984). She excelled as the repressed chaperone who lives vicariously through her young charge (Helena Bonham Carter) in the Merchant Ivory production of "A Room with a View" (1986), in which she displayed her natural ability for delivering witty dialogue with irresistible aplomb and expert timing. Her performance earned Smith both a BAFTA Award and Golden Globe, as well as an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. As the decade waned, she made a rare, but indelible small screen appearance delivering an Alan Bennett monologue in "Bed Among the Lentils," which was shown on the U.S. "Masterpiece Theatre" (PBS) series. She also had one of her best dramatic roles as the repressed spinster who blossoms when she finds romance with a con man (Bob Hoskins) in the feature, "The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne" (1987).

Smith was honored by playwright Peter Shaffer when he tailored his stage comedy "Lettice and Lovage" (1988) specifically for the actress; it proved to be a triumph in both London and New York, and added a Tony Award to her growing trophy collection. In 1990, she was dubbed Dame Margaret Natalie Smith Cross - her full name at the time - by Queen Elizabeth II, after having been named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1970. Meanwhile, Smith was lovely as the aged Wendy Darling in Steven Spielberg's misfire, "Hook" (1991), although playing a character much older than herself eventually led to typecasting. For much of the rest of the decade, her onscreen personae tended toward the dour elderly types, ranging from the tart Mother Superior in "Sister Act" (1992) and its sequel, to her Emmy-nominated turn as a Southern matriarch in the small screen remake of Tennessee Williams' "Suddenly, Last Summer" (PBS, 1993). After playing Layd Bracknell in a highly praised turn in the London stage revival of "The Importance of Being Earnest" (1993), Smith received a BAFTA Award nomination for her portrayal of the no-nonsense housekeeper Mrs. Medlock in "The Secret Garden" (1993).

Although she was enjoying a strong career as a character player in films, Smith kept returning to the stage, appearing in several high-profile, critically acclaimed performances, including in the London production of Edward Albee's award-winning "Three Tall Women" (1994) and as the Duchess of York in "Richard III" (1995), starring Ian McKellan. Following a London stage reprisal of her television role in "Bed Among the Lentils" (1996), she starred in the Albee-penned "A Delicate Balance" (1997), while earning praise for her turn as the meddlesome aunt in the period romantic drama, "Washington Square" (1997). Heading back to the big screen, Smith was impressive as a grande dame in Italy whose misguided admiration for Benito Mussolini recalled Jean Brodie's admiration of Franco in "Tea with Mussolini" (1998), the film cast her opposite an equally impressive Dame Judi Dench. She earned another BAFTA Award; this time for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. The following year, she was featured as Aunt Betsey in a retelling of "David Copperfield" (BBC, 1999), which netted another Emmy nod after the program aired stateside on PBS.

As the new millennium dawned, Smith brought a poignant sense of loss to her turn as a member of the Anglo-Irish aristocracy in the elegiac "The Last September" (2000). Her next screen role as the stern, shape-shifting Professor Minerva McGonagle in "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" (2001), exposed her to her widest audience to date while earning a legion of new young fans. But it was her turn as the indelible, acid-tongued Constance, Countess of Trentham, in Robert Altman's clever blend of country house murder mystery and sharp upstairs-downstairs satire, "Gosford Park" (2001), that gave the actress some of her biggest plaudits of her long career. Smith stood out among a massive all-star cast that included everyone from Helen Mirren, Clive Owen and Emily Watson to Kristin Scott Thomas, Michael Gambon and Stephen Fry. For her work, she earned numerous critical accolades, including nods at the BAFTA Awards, Golden Globes and Oscars. Meanwhile, she reprised Professor McGonagle for the sequels, "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets"(2002) and "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" (2004). After gracing the big screen as one of three bickering women (including Shirley Knight and Fionnula Flanagan) in "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" (2002), Smith embarked on one of the most anticipated theatrical events of her career - an on-stage teaming with Judi Dench in David Hare's new play, "The Breath of Life" (2002), which was reprised on Broadway in 2003.

Smith next received an Emmy Award among other accolades for her role in the acclaimed small screen adaptation of William Trevor's novel, "My House in Umbria" (HBO, 2003), in which she played an English romance novel writer who invites fellow survivors of a terrorist bombing to join her at her Italian villa. Smith next starred in the British-made "Ladies in Lavender" (2004), a period drama in which she played a spinster living with her sister (Judi Dench) in an idyllic coastal town outside Cornwell. Meanwhile, she reprised Professor McGonagle in a more diminished capacity for "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" (2005), "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" (2007) and "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" (2009). Smith did shine, however, as Rowan Atkinson's secretive housekeeper in "Keeping Mum" (2006) and opposite Anne Hathaway in the Jane Austen-inspired romantic drama, "Becoming Jane" (2007).

After co-starring alongside Maggie Gyllenhaal and Emma Thompson in the sequel "Nanny McPhee Returns" (2010), Smith earned an Emmy nomination for "Capturing Mary" (HBO, 2010), in which she played a once brilliant writer and critic whose life was destroyed by an evil social climber (David Williams) from her heady youth. Meanwhile, she earned Emmy Awards in 2011 and 2012 for her performance as the sharp-tongued Violet Crawley, the traditional and protective Dowager Countess of Grantham on the British period drama "Downton Abbey" (ITV, 2011). While trading pointed barbs with family and servants on the show, Smith continued making feature films, bringing imbalance to a foursome of opera singers in "Quartet" (2012) - for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy - and earning critical praise for her performance as a retired housekeeper suspicious of Asians in John Madden's ensemble comedy "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" (2012). Between series of "Downton Abbey," she next appeared on screen in "My Old Lady" (2014), a film written and directed by Israel Horovitz co-starring Kevin Kline and Kiristin Scott Thomas. Smith next appeared in the sequel "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" (2015). It was also announced in early 2015 that the upcoming season of "Downton Abbey" would be the show's last.

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

Downton Abbey (2019)
Sherlock Gnomes (2018)
Voice
Nothing Like a Dame (2018)
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2015)
The Lady in the Van (2015)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)
Gnomeo & Juliet (2011)
Voice
Nanny McPhee Returns (2010)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)
Becoming Jane (2007)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
Keeping Mum (2006)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
Ladies in Lavender (2005)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
Professor Minerva Mcgonagall
My House in Umbria (2003)
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (2002)
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
Professor Minerva Mcgonagall
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001)
Professor McGonagall
Gosford Park (2001)
The Last September (1999)
Lady Myra
Tea With Mussolini (1999)
Curtain Call (1998)
Lili Marlow
Washington Square (1997)
Aunt Lavinia Penniman
The First Wives Club (1996)
Richard III (1995)
Duchess Of York
Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993)
The Secret Garden (1993)
Sister Act (1992)
Hook (1991)
Romeo-Juliet (1990)
Voice Of Rozaline
The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne (1987)
A Room With a View (1986)
Charlotte Bartlett
Lily in Love (1985)
A Private Function (1984)
Joyce Chilvers
Better Late Than Never (1983)
Anderson
Evil Under The Sun (1982)
Daphne Castle
Quartet (1981)
Lois Heidler
Clash of the Titans (1981)
Thetis
The Missionary (1981)
Lady Ames
California Suite (1978)
Death on the Nile (1978)
Miss Bowers
Murder By Death (1976)
Love and Pain and the Whole Damned Thing (1973)
Lila Fisher
Travels with My Aunt (1972)
Aunt Augusta [Bertram]
Oh! What a Lovely War (1969)
Music hall star
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969)
Jean Brodie
Hot Millions (1968)
Patty Terwilliger
The Honey Pot (1967)
Sarah Watkins
Young Cassidy (1965)
Nora
Othello (1965)
Desdemona
The Pumpkin Eater (1964)
Philpot
The V.I.P.s (1963)
Miss Mead
Go to Blazes (1962)
Nowhere to Go (1959)
Bridget Howard

Film Production - Main (Feature Film)

Sex Kittens Go to College (1960)
Prod Secretary

Cast (Special)

Capturing Mary (2009)
The 74th Annual Academy Awards (2002)
Presenter
David Copperfield (2000)
All the King's Men (2000)
Suddenly Last Summer (1993)
Memento Mori (1992)
The 44th Annual Tony Awards (1990)
Performer
Talking Heads: Bed Among the Lentils (1989)
Susan

Cast (Short)

Sean O'Casey The Spirit of Ireland (1965)
Herself

Life Events

1952

Stage debut in Oxford University Dramatic Society production of "Twelfth Night"

1956

Made uncredited appearance as a party guest in "Child in the House"

1956

Broadway debut in the sketch revue "New Faces of '56"

1957

Made London stage debut in "Share My Lettuce"

1959

Was a member of the Old Vic company, where she first played opposite Laurence Olivier in "Rhinoceros"

1959

Official feature film debut in "Nowhere to Go"

1962

Offered praiseworthy performances in "The Public Ear" and "The Private Eye"

1963

Joined National Theatre as a charter member; played Desdemona to Olivier's "Othello"

1963

First major film role, opposite Rod Taylor and Richard Burton in "The VIPs"

1965

Earned first Academy Award nomination reprising her stage role of Desdemona in a film adaptation of "Othello"

1967

Played featured role in "The Honey Pot"

1969

Won first Oscar for the role of a fascistic Scottish schoolteacher at an all-girl's school in "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie"

1972

Headlined a London production of Noel Coward's "Private Lives"

1972

Earned Best Actress Academy Award nomination as Best Actress for "Travels with My Aunt"

1974

Made rare TV guest appearance on "The Carol Burnett Show" (CBS)

1976

Played Dora Charleston, a spoof of Myrna Loy's "Thin Man" character Nora Charles, in the Neil Simon-scripted "Murder By Death"

1978

Won second Oscar for her turn opposite Michael Caine playing an Oscar-nominated actress in "California Suite"; scripted by Neil Simon

1978

Offered a scene-stealing turn in "Death on the Nile"; adapted from an Agatha Christie mystery

1979

Returned to Broadway recreating her London stage role in Tom Stoppard's play "Night and Day"; earned a Tony nomination

1980

Portrayed writer Virginia Woolf in "Virgina" at Stratford (recreated the role in London's West End in 1981)

1982

Acted in second film adapted from an Agatha Christie mystery "Evil Under the Sun"

1982

Co-starred with Michael Palin in the comedy "The Missionary"

1984

Reteamed with Palin to co-star in the Alan Bennett-scripted comedy "A Private Function"

1986

Co-starred as the meddling chaperone in "A Room with a View"; earned Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nomination

1987

Made rare but memorable TV appearance in the "Bed Among the Lentils" segment of the "Talking Heads" series of one-person dramas scripted by Alan Bennett; premiered on British TV and aired in USA on PBS' "Masterpiece Theatre"

1988

Created the role of Lettice Douffet in Peter Shaffer's play "Lettice and Lovage" in London; reprised role in NYC in 1990 and earned a Tony Award

1991

Played an aged Wendy Darling in the Steven Spielberg-directed "Hook"

1992

Co-starred with Whoopi Goldberg as the mother superior in the comedy "Sister Act"; reprised role in "Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit" (1993)

1993

Played Lady Bracknell in a highly praised turn in London revival of "The Importance of Being Earnest"

1993

Starred in TV remake of Tennessee Williams' "Suddenly, Last Summer" (PBS), garnered an Emmy nomination

1993

Cast as Mrs. Metlock in the remake of "The Secret Garden"

1994

Starred in London staging of Edward Albee's award-winning "Three Tall Women"

1995

Played the Duchess of York in "Richard III" starring Ian McKellen and directed by Richard Loncraine

1996

Reprised TV role in London stage production of "Bed Among the Lentils"

1997

Starred in the London stage production of Edward Albee's "A Delicate Balance"

1997

Earned praise for her turn as the meddlesome aunt in "Washington Square"

1998

Reteamed with Michael Caine for the supernatural comedy "Curtain Call" (aired on Starz!)

1999

Appeared alongside Judi Dench, Cher and Joan Plowright in Franco Zeffirelli's "Tea With Mussolini"

1999

Starred in Alan Bennett's play "The Lady in the Van"

1999

Played Aunt Betsey in BBC remake of "David Copperfield"; aired in USA on PBS in 2000; received Emmy nomination

2000

Headlined the British film "The Last September" as a member of the British aristocracy in 1920s Ireland

2001

Portrayed the contemptuous Countess of Trentham in Robert Altman's ensemble "Gosford Park"; earned a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination

2001

Portrayed Prof. Minerva McGonagall in "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone"; adapted from the first novel in the best-sellling fantasy series by J.K. Rowling

2002

Starred in the tv-movie "My House in Umbria"; received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress

2002

Reprised role of Professor McGonagall in "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets"

2002

Starred opposite Judi Dench in David Hare's stage play "The Breath of Life"; reprised role on Broadway in 2003

2004

Again portrayed Professor McGonagall in "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" directed by Alfonso CuarĂ³n

2005

Reprised role of Prof. McGonagall in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" directed by Mike Newell

2006

Played Rowan Atkinson's housekeeper in the British comedy "Keeping Mum"

2007

Appeared opposite Anne Hathaway in the period film "Becoming Jane"

2007

Reprised the role of Prof. McGonagall in "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix"

2009

Reprised the role of Prof. McGonagall in "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," the sixth book in the fantasy series directed by David Yates

2010

Co-starred with Emma Thompson in the family comedy "Nanny McPhee Returns"

2010

Earned an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie for "Capturing Mary" (BBC, 2007)

2010

Earned critical praise for her role as the Dowager Countess of Grantham on the British period drama "Downton Abbey" (PBS)

2011

Nominated for the 2011 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie

2011

Reprised Prof. Minerva McGonagall for the last feature in the series "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2"

2012

Co-starred in ensemble comedy drama "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel"

2012

Played a retired opera singer opposite Tom Courtenay, Pauline Collins, and Billy Connolly in "Quartet," Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut

2015

Appeared in "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel"

2018

Voiced Lady Bluebury in animated feature "Sherlock Gnomes"

2018

Reprised role of McGonagall in Harry Potter video game "Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery"

2018

Tapped to return for "Downton Abbey" movie

Videos

Movie Clip

California Suite (1978) - God Will Punish Us Droll Britishers Sidney (Michael Caine) and Oscar-nominated actress wife Diana (Maggie Smith), in town for the ceremonies, taking a call from her producer, in Neil Simon's California Suite, 1978.
Young Cassidy (1965) - I Can Go As High As Tuppence In Dublin, ca. 1910, Rod Taylor (title character, an aspiring writer) and mother (Flora Robson) receive sister Ella (Sian Phillips), mother of five, whose husband “Drummer” is now institutionalized, then he meets book store clerk Nora (Maggie Smith), in Young Cassidy, 1965, based on the life of playwright Sean O’Casey.
Room With A View, A (1986) - I Promessi Sposi Following her eventful trip to Florence, we meet the brother and mother (Rupert Graves, Rosemary Leach) of Lucy (Helena Bonham-Carter) and Daniel Day-Lewis, who’s become her fiancè, which doesn’t please the vicar Beebe (Simon Callow), in the Merchant-Ivory breakthrough feature A Room With A View 1986.
Room With A View, A (1986) - We Have No View Straight to the topic, we meet Lucy (Helena Bonham Carter), her chaperone (Maggie Smith) and their less polite but equally English fellows (Denholm Elliott, Julian Sands as the Emersons), ca. 1908, at a Florentine pensione, Judi Dench also dining, opening the Merchant-Ivory hit from the E.M. Forster novel, A Room With A View 1986.
V.I.P.s, The (1963) - What Lives You Tycoons Lead Introducing the last of the above-the-title stars, Maggie Smith as the assistant to Rod Taylor as self-deprecating Australian industrialist Les Mangrum, Richard Wattis as the obsequious airline manager, all from Terence Rattigan’s original script, Anthony Asquith directing, in The V.I.P.s, 1963.
V.I.P.s, The (1963) - Opening Credits There’s a hint of irony and some achievement in the credits for the MGM all-star drama, Anthony Asquith directing as we meet Liz and Dick (Taylor And Burton), Orson Welles, Louis Jourdan, Elsa Martinelli, Rod Taylor, Maggie Smith and Academy Award-winner Margaret Rutherford, in The V.I.P.s, 1963.
Pumpkin Eater, The (1964) - Wives Don't Usually Like Me Another flashback from Jo (Anne Bancroft), alone in her London house, introducing Maggie Smith as "Philpot," officially a distant friend of her husband, then taking her brood for a walk in the park, in The Pumpkin Eater, 1964, directed by Jack Clayton, with Peter Finch and James Mason.
Travels With My Aunt (1972) - Perhaps You Find Religion Toting the ashes of the woman he believed to be his mother, Henry (Alec McCowen) is hustled away by his previously-thought-dead "Aunt" Augusta (Maggie Smith) to her London flat where he meets her live-in "Wordsworth," (Louis Gossett Jr.), early in George Cukor's Travels With My Aunt, 1972.
Murder By Death - Not Finish Mushroom Story! Scenes introducing Dick Charleson (David Niven) and wife Nora (Maggie Smith,) then Sidney Wang (Peter Sellers) and son (Richard Narita), summoned to a mysterious gathering, in Neil Simon's Murder By Death, 1976.
Murder By Death - Sniff Out The Chinaman David Niven as "Dick Charleson," Maggie Smith his wife "Nora," with Peter Falk, Elsa Lanchester, James Coco, and Peter Sellers as various sleuths, and butler Bensonmum (Alec Guinness) in Neil Simon's detective spoof Murder By Death, 1976.
Love And Pain And The Whole Damn Thing - Take Your Bird And Go! Vignette by director Alan J. Pakula, spaced-out American Walter (Timothy Bottoms) loosely observes fellow tourist Lily Fisher (Maggie Smith), dealing with another approach by Spanish lothario "Duke" Jaime (Emiliano Redondo), in Love And Pain And The Whole Damn Thing, 1973.
Evil Under The Sun (1982) - Far Too Many Skeletons Hotelier Maggie Smith greets Peter Ustinov as detective Poirot, before the first evening's cocktail party, with Roddy McDowall, James Mason, Sylvia Miles, Jane Birkin and others but finally dominated by Diana Rigg, in the Agatha Christie mystery Evil Under The Sun, 1982.

Trailer

Death on the Nile - (Original Trailer) Hercule Poirot (Peter Ustinov) investigates the murder of an heiress during an Egyptian tour in Agatha Christie's Death on the Nile (1978).
Hook - (Original Trailer) A grown up Peter Pan tries to prevent the return of the evil Captain Hook in Steven Spielberg's 1991 fantasy Hook starring Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman and Julia Roberts.
Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, The - (Original Trailer) Maggie Smith won the Best Actress Award playing a headstrong young teacher in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969).
Othello (1965) - (Original Trailer) Laurence Olivier stars as Shakespeare's Othello (1965) with Maggie Smith as Desdemona and Frank Finlay as Iago.
Clash of the Titans - (Original Trailer) A Greek hero fights a series of monsters, including the dreaded Gorgon, in Clash of the Titans (1981), with special effects by Ray Harryhausen.
Murder By Death - (Original Trailer) An all-star cast parodies famous detectives in the Neil Simon whodunit spoof Murder By Death (1976).
V.I.P.s, The - (Original Trailer) Wealthy passengers fogged in at London's Heathrow Airport experience a series of personal trials in The V.I.P.s (1963) starring Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton.
Young Cassidy - (Original Trailer) Rod Taylor stars in the true story of Irish playwright Sean O'Casey, Young Cassidy (1965), directed by John Ford and Jack Cardiff, also starring Julie Christie, and Maggie Smith.
Hot Millions - (Original Trailer) A computer whiz and his pregnant girlfriend set out to rob a massive corporation in Hot Millions (1968), starring Peter Ustinov.
Honey Pot, The - (Original Trailer) Rex Harrison plays a millionaire out to fleece former lovers in The Honey Pot (1967) from the writer/director of All About Eve.
Nowhere to Go - (Original Trailer) A burglar on the lam holes up with an innocent English girl in Nowhere to Go (1958), a British film.
Pumpkin Eater, The - (Original Trailer) Anne Bancroft won best actress at the Cannes Film Festival as a wife having a nervous breakdown in Harold Pinter's The Pumpkin Eater (1964).

Promo

Family

Nathaniel Smith
Father
Pathologist. Worked at Oxford University.
Margaret Hutton Little
Mother
Scottish.
Ian Smith
Brother
Born on December 8, 1928; twin of Alistair.
Alistair Smith
Brother
Born on December 8, 1928; twin of Ian.
Chris Larkin
Son
Actor. Born on June 19, 1967; father, Robert Stephens.
Toby Stephens
Son
Actor. Born on April 21, 1969; father, Robert Stephens.

Companions

Robert Stephens
Husband
Actor. Married on June 29, 1967; marriage was troubled by her career success and his alcoholism and bouts of depression; separated in 1974; divorced in February 1975; father of Smith's two sons; died in 1995 at age 64.
Beverley Cross
Husband
Author. Married from June 23, 1975 until his death on March 20, 1998 at age 66; first became romantically involved in the early 1950s; became engaged; separated in the mid-60s when she fell in love with Robert Stephens; re-met in the early 1970s and rekindled relationship.

Bibliography

"Maggie Smith, A Bright Particular Star"
Michael Coveney

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.