Famous People from Essex - Dame Maggie Smith
Dame Maggie Smith, original name Margaret Natalie Smith (born December 28, 1934,
Ilford, Essex, England), English phase and motion-picture actress, kept in mind for her poignancy and wit in comic duties.
Smith studied acting at the Oxford Playhouse School and started appearing in revues in Oxford in 1952 and London in 1955. In 1963 Smith signed up with Britain's National Theatre company, and the following year she played Desdemona contrary Laurence Olivier's Othello. She repeated that part in Olivier's motion-picture version of Othello in 1965 and more appeared with the National Theatre in such functions as Silvia in George Farquhar's The Recruiting Officer (1963).
Smith had actually made her screen debut in 1958 in Nowhere to Go, however she only achieved international popularity with her performance in the title role of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969), for which she got an Academy Award for best starlet. Her subsequent phase looks with the National Theatre included functions in William Wycherley's The Country-Wife (1969), Farquhar's The Beaux' Stratagem (1970), and Henrik Ibsen's Hedda Gabler (1970). Smith left the National Theatre in the early 1970s and appeared for several seasons at the Stratford (Ontario) Festival. She likewise played in both the London and New York City manufacturings of NoĆ"l Coward's Private Lives (1972, 1975) and of Tom Stoppard's Night and Day (1979).
In 1978 Smith starred in California Suite, a movie adaptation of Neil Simon's Broadway play. Her efficiency as an Oscar-nominated actress who bickers with her hubby (played by Michael Caine) made her a real-life Academy Award for best supporting starlet. Smith likewise received Oscar elections for her jobs as a chaperone to a young woman traveling in Italy in A Room with a View (1985) and as a countess in Gosford Park (2001).
Smith's subsequent films consist of The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne (1987), a drama in which she played the title role; the comedy Sister Act (1992), which starred Whoopi Goldberg; The Secret Garden (1993), an adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett's book; Ladies in Lavender (2004), with Judi Dench; and Becoming Jane (2007), which envisions the early life of author Jane Austen. She later on enlivened the ensemble funnies The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011), about a team of British retired people in India, and Quartet, which centred on 4 aging opera singers. In the early 21st century Smith played Professor Minerva McGonagall in the movie adaptations of J.K. Rowling's popular Harry Potter series, and she offered a voice for the animated Shakespeare spoof Gnomeo & Juliet (2011).
Smith continued to act onstage in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. After starring in such TV movies as David Copperfield (1999) and My House in Umbria (2003), the latter of which made her an Emmy Award, Smith took a function on the British series Downton Abbey, a period drama that centres on an aristocratic household and their servants.
Smith was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1990.