No one does glamour, severity, girlish charm or tight-lipped witticism quite like Dame Maggie Smith. Michael Coveney’s biography of the actress shines a light on the life and career of a truly remarkable performer, whose stage and screen career spans an astonishing six decades!
From her days as a West End star of comedy and revue, Dame Maggie’s path crossed with those of the greatest actors, playwrights and directors of the era, so much so that her career can be seen as a ‘Who’s Who’ of British theatre (and her film and television career has been just as starry). From the title character in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and the meddling chaperone in A Room With a View to the Harry Potter films in which she played Professor Minerva McGonagall and the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel films in which she played the wise Muriel Donnelly, Maggie Smith has thrilled, engaged and made audiences laugh. As Violet Crawley, the formidable Dowager Countess of Downton Abbey she conquered millions more.
Whether you know Maggie Smith for her many accomplishments on the stage, or have more recently been taken with her portrayals of the equally fantastic Professor McGonagall and Dowager Countess, you’ll love these five great facts just as much as we do! Check out clips from the audio edition, read by Sian Thomas:
1. She’s a voracious reader (like we are)
2. She stole the show from Richard Burton (yes, that Richard Burton)
3. She played an “unexpected” Peter Pan
4. She was the perfect embodiment of J.K. Rowling’s Minerva McGonagall
5. She still shops at her local supermarket