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date: 15 September 2019

Smith, Dame Maggie, (Dame Margaret Natalie Cross) free

CH 2014; DBE 1990 (CBE 1970)

Born 28 Dec. 1934; d of Nathaniel Smith and Margaret Little (née Hutton); m 1st, 1967, Robert Graham Stephens (later Sir Robert Stephens) (marr. diss. 1975; he d 1995); two s; 2nd, 1975, Beverley Cross (d 1998)

actress; Director, United British Artists, since 1982

Education

Oxford High School for Girls

Career

Studied at Oxford Playhouse School under Isabel van Beers. First appearance, June 1952, as Viola in OUDS Twelfth Night; 1st New York appearance, Ethel Barrymore Theatre, June 1956, as comedienne in New Faces. Played in Share My Lettuce, Lyric, Hammersmith, 1957; The Stepmother, St Martin’s, 1958. Old Vic Co., 1959–60 season: The Double Dealer; As You Like It; Richard II; The Merry Wives of Windsor; What Every Woman Knows; Rhinoceros, Strand, 1960; Strip the Willow, Cambridge, 1960; The Rehearsal, Globe, 1961; The Private Ear and The Public Eye (Evening Standard Drama Award, best actress of 1962), Globe, 1962; Mary, Mary, Queen’s, 1963 (Variety Club of Gt Britain, best actress of the year); The Country Wife, Chichester, 1969; Design for Living, LA, 1971; Private Lives, Queen’s, 1972, Globe, 1973, NY, 1975 (Variety Club of GB Stage Actress Award, 1972); Peter Pan, Coliseum, 1973; Snap, Vaudeville, 1974; Night and Day, Phoenix, 1979; Virginia, Haymarket, 1981 (Standard Best Actress Award, 1982); The Way of the World, Chichester and Haymarket, 1984 (Standard Best Actress Award, 1985); Interpreters, Queen’s, 1985; Lettice and Lovage, Globe, 1987, NY, 1990 (Tony Award, best leading actress, 1990); The Importance of Being Earnest, Aldwych, 1993; Three Tall Women, Wyndham’s, 1994, 1995; Talking Heads, Chichester, 1996, Comedy Theatre, 1997, Australian tour, 2004; A Delicate Balance, Haymarket, 1997; Lady in the Van, Queen’s, 1999; The Breath of Life, Haymarket, 2002; The Lady from Dubuque, Haymarket, 2007; at National Theatre: The Recruiting Officer, 1963; Othello, The Master Builder, Hay Fever, 1964; Much Ado About Nothing, Miss Julie, 1965; A Bond Honoured, 1966; The Beaux’ Stratagem, 1970 (also USA); Hedda Gabler, 1970 (Evening Standard Best Actress award); War Plays, 1985; Coming in to Land, 1986; at Festival Theatre, Stratford, Ontario: 1976: Antony and Cleopatra, The Way of the World, Measure for Measure, The Three Sisters; 1977: Midsummer Night’s Dream, Richard III, The Guardsman, As You Like It, Hay Fever; 1978: As You Like It, Macbeth, Private Lives; 1980: Virginia; Much Ado About Nothing. Films: The VIP’s, 1963; The Pumpkin Eater, 1964; Young Cassidy, 1965; Othello, 1966; The Honey Pot, 1967; Hot Millions, 1968 (Variety Club of GB Award); The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, 1968 (Oscar; SFTA award); Oh! What a Lovely War, 1968; Love and Pain (and the Whole Damned Thing), 1973; Travels with my Aunt, 1973; Murder by Death, 1976; California Suite, 1977 (Oscar); Death on the Nile, 1978; Quartet, 1981; Clash of the Titans, 1981; Evil Under the Sun, 1982; The Missionary, 1982; A Private Function, 1984 (BAFTA award, Best Actress, 1985); The Loves of Lily, 1985; A Room with a View, 1986 (Variety Club of GB Award; BAFTA award, Best Actress, 1986); The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearn, 1989 (Evening Standard British Films Award, 1988, and Best Film Actress BAFTA Award, 1988); Hook, 1992; Sister Act, 1992; The Secret Garden, 1993; Sister Act II, 1994; Richard III, 1996; The First Wives Club, 1996; Washington Square, 1998; Tea with Mussolini, 1999 (Best Supporting Actress, BAFTA, 2000); The Last September, 2000; Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, 2001; Gosford Park, 2002; Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, 2002; Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, 2002; Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, 2004; Ladies in Lavender, 2004; Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 2005; Keeping Mum, 2005; Becoming Jane, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, 2007; Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, 2009; Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang, From Time to Time, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1, 2010, Part 2, 2011; The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Quartet, 2012; My Old Lady, 2014; The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, The Lady in the Van, 2015 (Evening Standard Best Actress Award, 2016); Nothing Like a Dame, 2018; television: Talking Heads: Bed Among the Lentils, 1989 (RTS Award); Memento Mori, 1992; Suddenly Last Summer, 1993; All The King’s Men, 1999; David Copperfield, 1999; My House in Umbria, 2003 (Emmy Award for Best Actress); Capturing Mary, 2007; Downton Abbey, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 (Best Supporting Actress, Emmy Award, 2011 and 2012, Golden Globe Awards, 2012, Best Actress in a Drama Series, Screen Actors Guild Awards, 2014). Fellow: BFI; BAFTA. Hon. DLitt: St Andrews, 1971; Cambridge, 1995. Hanbury Shakespeare Prize, 1991

Recreations

reading

Address

c/o Independent Talent Agency Ltd, 40 Whitfield Street W1T 2RH

See Also

T. Stephens