Maggie Smith on Downton Abbey
Nick Briggs / © Carnival Films for Masterpiece/PBS / Courtesy: Everett Collection
12/28/2013 AT 12:10 PM EST
turns 79 Saturday. And while the inimitable actress's career spans six decades, she's currently beloved for her meme-worthy one-liners as the caustic Lady Violet Crawley, the Dowager Countess of Grantham, on Downton Abbey
What better way to celebrate Smith's birthday than with a look back at some of her funniest zingers
? There's sure to be plenty more to come when Downton Abbey
's fourth season
premieres on PBS Jan. 5.
On the middle class work week:
"What is a weekend?"
"I'm so looking forward to seeing your mother again. When I'm with her I'm reminded of the virtues of the English." Matthew:
"Isn't she American?" Violet:
"What should we call each other?"Violet:
"Well, we could always start with Mrs. Crawley and Lady Grantham."
On swivel chairs:
"Why does every day involve a fight with an American?"
On the telephone:
"Is this an instrument of communication or torture?"
To nemesis Martha:
"I don't even know what that means, but it sounds almost as peculiar as you look."
To nemesis Isobel:
"I take that as a compliment."Violet:
"I must have said it wrong."
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