99 Facts About Maggie Smith


Dame Margaret Natalie Smith was born on 28 December 1934 and is an English actress.


Maggie Smith began her career on stage as a student, performing at the Oxford Playhouse in 1952, and made her professional debut on Broadway in New Faces of '56.


Maggie Smith received two Academy Awards for her roles in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, and California Suite.


Maggie Smith rose to popular fame portraying Minerva McGonagall in the Harry Potter film series.


Maggie Smith is the recipient of several honorary awards including the British Film Institute Fellowship in 1993, the BAFTA Fellowship in 1996, and the Society of London Theatre Special Award in 2010.


Margaret Natalie Maggie Smith was born on 28 December 1934 in Ilford, Essex.


Maggie Smith's mother, Margaret Hutton, was a Scottish secretary from Glasgow, and her father, Nathaniel Smith, was a public-health pathologist from Newcastle upon Tyne, who worked at the University of Oxford.


Maggie Smith moved with her family to Oxford when she was four years old.


Maggie Smith had older twin brothers, Alistair and Ian.


Maggie Smith was educated at Oxford High School until age sixteen, when she left to study acting at the Oxford Playhouse.


In 1952, aged 17, under the auspices of the Oxford University Dramatic Society, Maggie Smith began her career as Viola in Twelfth Night at the Oxford Playhouse.


Maggie Smith continued to act in productions at the Oxford Playhouse including, Cinderella, Rookery Nook, Cakes and Ale, and The Government Inspector.


In 1956 Maggie Smith made her Broadway debut playing several roles in the review New Faces of '56, at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre from June to December 1956.


In 1962, Maggie Smith won the first of a record six Best Actress Evening Standard Awards for her roles in Peter Shaffer's plays The Private Ear and The Public Eye, again opposite Kenneth Williams.


Maggie Smith soon became a fixture at the Royal National Theatre in the 1960s.


Maggie Smith said that anyone who can play comedy that well can play tragedy and he offered her the likes of Desdemona in Shakespeare's Othello.


Maggie Smith appeared opposite Olivier in Ibsen's The Master Builder, and played comedic roles in The Recruiting Officer and Much Ado About Nothing all in 1964.


Maggie Smith started with the company at its inception in 1962 with Derek Jacobi and Michael Gambon and continued acting with the company for eight years.


In 1970, Maggie Smith played the title role in Ingmar Bergman's London production of the Henrik Ibsen play Hedda Gabler, winning her second Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Actress.


From 1976 to 1980, Maggie Smith appeared in numerous productions at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario, to acclaim; her roles included: Cleopatra in Anthony and Cleopatra, Queen Elizabeth in Richard III, and Lady Macbeth in Macbeth.


In 1975, Maggie Smith starred in the Noel Coward comedy Private Lives as Amanda Prynne on Broadway at the 46th Street Theatre.


The effect, because Noel Coward's situation is funny and because Miss Maggie Smith sends off that one little extra signal that spells extravagance, is hilarious, explosively so.


Maggie Smith won her third and fourth Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Actress, for her role as Virginia Woolf in Virginia and as Millament in The Way of the World.


Maggie Smith starred in the 1987 London production of Lettice and Lovage alongside Margaret Tyzack, receiving an Olivier Award nomination.


Maggie Smith reprised the role in 1990, when it transferred to Broadway, and won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play.


Maggie Smith received her record fifth Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Actress for her performance.


In 1997 Maggie Smith starred in another Albee play A Delicate Balance opposite Eileen Atkins.


Maggie Smith received her fifth Olivier Award nomination for her performance as the witty, alcoholic Claire.


In 2002, Maggie Smith reunited with Dame Judi Dench for David Hare's stage play The Breath of Life.


Maggie Smith toured Australia in Alan Bennett's Talking Heads in 2004.


Yet even the magnetically watchable Maggie Smith cannot save the evening as a whole.


The new play by Christopher Hampton is a one-woman solo play consisting of Maggie Smith giving an extended monologue as Pomsel, an elderly German woman who, in her youth, wound up working as a secretary for Joseph Goebbels at the Ministry of Propaganda.


Variety theatre critic praised Maggie Smith's performance, writing, "It's a performance that combines the knowingness of hindsight with the naivety of youth, blase enough to catch you off-guard when the magnitude of events suddenly cuts through".


Matt Wolf of The New York Times wrote, "[Maggie Smith's performance] represents a new high in a six-decade career with no shortage of peaks", and added "The audience knows it is witnessing something special".


Maggie Smith's performance won her a record sixth Best Actress Evening Standard award.


Maggie Smith received a third British Academy Television Award nomination for her role as Mrs Mabel Pettigrew in the 1992 TV film Memento Mori, and her first Primetime Emmy Award nomination for her role as Violet Venable in the 1993 PBS television film Suddenly, Last Summer.


In 1999, Maggie Smith starred in the BBC television adaptation of the Charles Dickens' novel David Copperfield alongside Daniel Radcliffe.


Maggie Smith portrayed Betsey Trotwood for which she received a British Academy Television Awards and her second Primetime Emmy Award nominations.


In 2003, Maggie Smith received her first Primetime Emmy Award in the Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie category for her role as Mrs Emily Delahunty in the HBO Television film My House in Umbria.


Maggie Smith received her 8th Golden Globes nomination for her performance in the television movie.


From 2010 to 2015, Maggie Smith appeared as Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham, in the British period drama Downton Abbey.


Maggie Smith participated in the filmed event National Theatre Live: 50 Years On Stage along with many actor of the stage including Michael Gambon and Judi Dench.


On 30 October 2015, Maggie Smith appeared on BBC's The Graham Norton Show, her first appearance on a chat show in 42 years.


In 2018, Maggie Smith starred in a British documentary titled Nothing Like a Dame, directed by Roger Michell, which documents conversations between actresses Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Eileen Atkins, and Joan Plowright, which were interspersed with scenes from their careers on film and stage.


Maggie Smith appeared in her first film in 1956, in an uncredited role of a party guest in the British drama Child in the House, In 1959, she received the first of her eighteen British Academy Film Award nominations for her role as Bridget Howard in the film Nowhere to Go, her first screen credit.


Maggie Smith earned her first Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the film adaptation of Othello as Desdemona acting alongside Laurence Olivier, Derek Jacobi, and Michael Gambon.


Maggie Smith won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in the title role of the 1969 film The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.


Maggie Smith was singled out for her performance in the film.


Maggie Smith received her third Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for her performance.


Maggie Smith appeared in the film Love and Pain and the Whole Damn Thing directed by Alan J Pakula.


In 1978, Maggie Smith played opposite Michael Caine in Neil Simon's California Suite, playing an Oscar loser, for which she received the 1978 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.


Maggie Smith is, to date, the only person to win an Oscar for portraying a fictional Oscar nominee.


In 1981, Maggie Smith starred in the Merchant Ivory film Quartet alongside Alan Bates and Isabelle Adjani.


Maggie Smith received her sixth BAFTA Award nomination for Best Actress for her performance as Lois Heidler.


Maggie Smith played the goddess Thetis in Clash of the Titans.


Maggie Smith won her second Best Actress BAFTA Film Awards for her role as Joyce Chilvers in the 1984 black comedy A Private Function with Michael Palin.


In 1985 Maggie Smith appeared as Charlotte Bartlett in the Merchant Ivory Production of A Room with a View.


Maggie Smith won her fourth BAFTA Film Awards for Best Actress for the title role in the 1987 film The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne.


In 1991, Maggie Smith appeared as Granny Wendy in Steven Spielberg's 1991 hit movie Hook, a fantasy adventure film based on the Peter Pan character.


In 1992, Maggie Smith starred as Mother Superior in the Whoopi Goldberg comedy film Sister Act and its sequel, Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit.


In 1996, Maggie Smith appeared in the comedy film The First Wives Club alongside Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton and Bette Midler.


In 1993, Maggie Smith appeared in the film adaptation of The Secret Garden directed by Agnieszka Holland.


In 1995, Maggie Smith portrayed the Duchess of York in another film adaptation this time of William Shakespeare's Richard III starring Ian McKellen in the titular role.


Maggie Smith starred in another film by Holland titled Washington Square, playing the incurably foolish Aunt Lavinia Penniman.


Maggie Smith won her fifth BAFTA Film Awards, this time for Best Supporting Actress, for the 1999 film Tea with Mussolini, in which she played Lady Hester Random opposite Cher, Joan Plowright and Judi Dench.


From 2001 to 2011, Maggie Smith gained significant international recognition and acclaim for playing Professor Minerva McGonagall in the Harry Potter movies.


Maggie Smith reunited with Daniel Radcliffe with whom she recently starred in David Copperfield from 1999.


In 2016, while promoting, The Lady in the Van, Maggie Smith shared her experiences working on the Harry Potter films and working with Alan Rickman.


In 2001, Maggie Smith appeared in the British ensemble murder mystery Gosford Park, which was directed by Robert Altman.


Maggie Smith acted with Judi Dench in the film Ladies in Lavender directed by Charles Dance.


Maggie Smith appeared in the British costume drama Becoming Jane, a film that centres around the life of Jane Austen, played by Anne Hathaway.


Maggie Smith appeared in Julian Fellowes's fantasy drama film From Time to Time in 2009.


Maggie Smith received a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for the role.


Also in 2012, Maggie Smith starred in Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut, Quartet, based on Ronald Harwood's play.


The film received modest critical praise according to Rotten Tomatoes, with Maggie Smith's performance being a standout.


Maggie Smith reprised her role as Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess Of Grantham in Simon Curtis's 2022 historical-drama Downton Abbey: A New Era alongside Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern and Michelle Dockery.


In 2020, it was reported that Maggie Smith would be starring in an Irish drama film, The Miracle Club, with Kathy Bates and Laura Linney.


Maggie Smith was announced as starring in the film version of Christopher Hampton's A German Life, reprising the role she originated onstage in 2019 in London.


Maggie Smith was appointed a CBE in the 1970 New Year Honours, and was made a Dame in the 1990 New Year Honours, for services to the performing arts.


Maggie Smith was made a Member of the Order of the Companions of Honour for services to drama in the 2014 Queen's Birthday Honours, becoming the third actress to receive the honour, after Dame Sybil Thorndike and Dame Judi Dench.


In 1971, Maggie Smith was conferred an honorary doctor of letters by the University of St Andrews.


In 1994, Maggie Smith received an honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of Cambridge.


In October 2017, Maggie Smith was conferred with an honorary fellowship of Mansfield College, Oxford.


Maggie Smith has received a Tony Award, four Primetime Emmy Awards, five British Academy Film Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, and five Screen Actors Guild Awards.


Maggie Smith was awarded the Shakespeare Prize by the Hamburg Alfred Toepfer Foundation in 1991.


Maggie Smith was made a Fellow of the British Film Institute in recognition of her outstanding contribution to film culture in 1992.


Maggie Smith was elected to the American Theatre Hall of Fame in 1994.


On 10 April 1999, Maggie Smith received the William Shakespeare Award for Classical Theatre presented by the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC in recognition of her significant contribution to classical theatre in the US.


Maggie Smith had a star on the London Avenue of Stars until all of the stars were removed in 2006.


Maggie Smith accepted the award, presented to her by Christopher Plummer, in a ceremony at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel.


In March 2016, Maggie Smith was awarded the Critics' Circle Award for Distinguished Service to the Arts.


Maggie Smith married playwright Beverley Cross on 23 June 1975, at the Guildford Register Office, and they remained married until his death on 20 March 1998.


In January 1988, Maggie Smith was diagnosed with Graves' disease, for which she underwent radiotherapy and optical surgery.


In 2007, The Sunday Telegraph disclosed that Maggie Smith had been diagnosed with breast cancer.


In September 2011, Maggie Smith offered her support for raising the NZ$4.6million needed to help rebuild the Court Theatre in Christchurch, New Zealand, after the earthquake in 2011 that caused severe damage to the area.


Maggie Smith is a patron of the Oxford Playhouse, where she first began her illustrious career.


Maggie Smith is a vice-president of the Chichester Cinema at New Park and a vice-president of the Royal Theatrical Fund which provides support for members of the entertainment profession that are unable to work due to illness, injury or infirmity.


In May 2013, Maggie Smith contributed a gnome which had been personally decorated by her, for an auction to raise money for the Royal Horticultural Society Campaign for School Gardening.


In November 2020, Maggie Smith joined Kenneth Branagh, Judi Dench, Derek Jacobi, and Ian McKellen for a conversation on Zoom entitled For One Knight Only, for the charity Acting for Others.