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Maggie Smith may leave Downton Abbey

2012-07-24 20:35
 
Downton Abbey
London - Dame Maggie Smith could be set to leave Downton Abbey.

The 77-year-old actress - who plays the Dowager Countess in the popular period drama - has not yet signed up for the fourth series, leading to fears she may quit.

Creator Julian Fellowes said: "I can't tell you, 'Oh yes, she's definitely contracted for season four' - she isn't.

"With Maggie, you never know. But I hope she stays with us until Downton falls down."

Most of the cast, including Michelle Dockery and Hugh Bonneville, have already signed up and their are fears if Maggie doesn't continue, ratings may take a big drop.

'Lovers in another life'

Downton Abbey was recently nominated for 16 Emmy awards in Hollywood, after winning six Emmys last year, including Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie for Maggie Smith.

The hit drama is returning for a third series and Hollywood legend Shirley MacLaine is joining the cast as the Countess of Grantham's mother, Martha Levinson, who instantly clashes with Maggie's character.

However, Shirley says they get on very well off camera and even joked they were "lovers in another life".

The 78-year-old actress said: "We were lovers in another life. We met 40 years ago backstage at the Oscars. I was up for something and there was this big chocolate cake on the catering table. Whatever I was up for, I lost. Now Maggie tells me, 'You know what you did, dear? You tucked right into that cake and said, 'Fuck it, I don't care if I'm thin ever again!'

"Maggie remembers more than me - but then she's a year younger."

Season 2 of Downton Abbey airs in South Africa on BBC Entertainment - DStv channel 120 - on Sundays at 20:30.

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