Maggie Smith Will Depart "Downton Abbey"

News   Maggie Smith Will Depart "Downton Abbey" Dame Maggie Smith, who stars as Dowager Countess of Grantham on the hit PBS series "Downton Abbey," will depart the program after its sixth season, according to Variety.

The period drama, which is set in the U.K., just completed its fifth season in the U.S. Smith told the London Times, "They say this is the last [season], and I can’t see how it could go on…I mean, I certainly can’t keep going. To my knowledge, I must be 110 by now. We’re into the late 1920s."

Smith, however, who won a Tony for her performance in Lettice and Lovage, and two Oscars, says she has no plans to retire. The 80-year-old actress explained, "When you’re not working it’s scary, and when you are working it’s scary, because you don’t know if you’ve got the energy to get through the day…But the bleakness of not doing it, and missing out on the friendships that you make, is too much to bear."

Included in her wealth of Broadway, West End, screen and television appearances over the past six decades, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, New Faces of 1956, Private Lives, "California Suite" and the role of Professor Minerva McGonagall in the "Harry Potter" films.

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