“to Share a scene with Maggie Smith is really something to share and a privilege,” told the Figaro Michelle Dockery, the beginning of September, during the launch of the film Downton Abbey , which was released in theatres in France on Wednesday. Embodying her little-girl favorite, the interpreter of the distinguished and haughty Mary Crawley has often shared scenes with this national treasure of british cinema. Two Oscars, four Emmy awards, three Golden Globes, a Tony Award, five Baftas… At 84 years of age, Maggie Smith won all the awards imaginable. These awards highlight his talent on stage as on the small and big screen. In the uk, Maggie Smith has won the affection of the international audience with roles came late in life: the demanding professor McGonagall in Harry Potter , and the cantankerous but spiritual countess dowager Lady Violet in the tv series, Downton Abbey .

during his long career, “Dame Maggie” has embraced roles as diverse as mother superior, alongside Whoopi Goldberg in Sister Act (1992), professor of “metamorphosis” in the movies of the saga Harry Potter , chaperone neurotic in Room with a view (1986) or old lady SDF in The Lady in The Van (2015).

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Born on 28 December 1934 in Ilford, south east England, Margaret Smith starts on the boards of the Oxford Playhouse in the early 1950s. She then joined the troupe of the theatre of london Old Vic and the Royal National Theatre, where it connects successfully, alongside her husband, actor Robert Stephens. To their union were born two sons, also actors Chris Larkin and Toby Stephens, and then the couple separated in 1973. Maggie Smith remarries a short time after with the playwright Beverley Cross, with whom she went to live and work in Canada.

The film debut of Maggie Smith’s date back to 1958 in The Criminal at bay by Basil Dearden and Seth Holt. It is named for the first time at the Oscars for her portrayal of Desdemona in the adaptation of Othello by Stuart Burge. She then gives a reply to the giant of the seventh art british Lawrence Olivier. She landed in 1969 the Oscar for best actress for The golden years of miss Brodie . A second Oscar followed in 1979 for California Suite . His last appointment, Maggie Smith is already the creator of Downton Abbey , Julian Fellowes, who wrote to him in Gosford Park Robert Altman’s the role of the very snob and cold Lady Constance. A prelude to the character of the countess of Grantham, Lady Violet, who brought him a celebrity planetary, a little bulky.

“Make him say “Hello”, and it will be hilarious”

“This is ridiculous. I was leading a perfectly normal life before Downton Abbey , ” she says about the series is sold in over 150 countries. I was going to the theatre, in art galleries, things like that, all alone. Now I can’t.” Maggie Smith said, even never having watched an entire episode of the series, which earned him a Golden Globe and three Emmy Awards. Prestigious awards in american television that she has never been to look in person.

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“She is wonderful. This is one of our greatest actresses. I don’t count the people who have said to me, it reminds me of my mother-in-law, my aunt…”, confirmed by Julian Fellowes. “Make him say “Hello”, and it will be hilarious. No matter what she says, it is with the right tone”, added the actress Imelda Staunton who, in the film from the series, will quarrel a lot with Maggie Smith. After being a desire, “Dame Maggie” has finally agreed to take over the role of Violet Crawley. Well fortunately, because she is the central character of this adaptation on the big screen. His lines and aphorisms are worthy of Oscar Wilde. Not to mention the epilogue of the film on a any other registry. “The scene that we tour with Maggie to close the film is the sequence that I was most marked my nine years on Downton , if not my career. It is so intimate that I will not be able to tell you more”, explained Michelle Dockery .

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Vulnerable, fierce, bleak and hilarious

“Maggie Smith can capture a moment more than many actors can convey in an entire film. It can be at the same time vulnerable, fierce, bleak and hilarious, and brings each day to the plateau the energy and curiosity of a young actor who has just started”, said her Nicholas Hytner, who has led in The Lady in The van in 2015.

Made Dame commander of the order of the british Empire in 1990 and a Companion of honour in 2014, Maggie Smith has overcome a cancer of the breast. In the midst of chemotherapy, she participated in the filming of Harry Potter and the half-blood Prince . “I was bald as an egg”, remembered it. She also suffers from Graves ‘ disease, autoimmune disease of the thyroid which causes a displacement of the eye out of its orbit.

The actress takes willingly to his ferocity natural. “I do not tolerate fools, and therefore they don’t not tolerate, and therefore I cringe. It is perhaps for this reason that I am good enough to play the old ladies acariâtres”, diagnostiquait it with the daily newspaper The Guardian in 2014. For as always, have the last word.