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Downton's Downstairs Cast Dresses Up & Finds 'Safety in Numbers' (VIDEO) | Phyllis Logan

Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey's Downstairs Cast Dresses Up

Originally posted 01/28/2013 10:00AM

On the screen, Downton Abbey's downstairs house staff are decidedly unglamorous and dressed to reflect their life's station. But at the SAG Awards Sunday night, where they won for best TV cast, the actors said they were thrilled to be made up and presenting themselves as red-carpet ready.

"It's bliss. It really is nice to have more than 10 minutes spent on your face," said actress Phyllis Logan, who plays stoic Mrs. Hughes, the head maid.

Added Amy Nuttall, who plays Ethel, the housemaid turned prostitute: We all get costume and hair and makeup envy of the upstairs girls. They all look immaculate and fresh, and we're all made to look tired."

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Shirley MacLaine Didn't Know What Downton Abbey Was Before She Filmed It | Elizabeth McGovern, Shirley MacLaine

TV News

UpdatePosted 07/24/2012 04:30PM

Shirley MacLaine Didn't Know What Downton Abbey Was Before She Filmed It

Originally posted 07/24/2012 01:30PM

British TV import Downton Abbey has found many fans in the States, but until recently Shirley MacLaine was not one of them.

"I walked in to my hairdresser lady's place in Malibu and they were talking about [the show]," MacLaine told reporters Saturday at the TCAs in Los Angeles. "I said, 'What do they mean?' Then I saw [the show], and I had three months of [filming] it."

The screen legend, 78, is joining the hit PBS series for its third season – playing Martha Levinson, the American mother of Elizabeth McGovern's character, Lady Grantham. The third season kicks off on PBS January 2013.

"I didn't know anything about Martha Levinson, but my hairdresser did," MacLaine said about her character, who was referenced to but never seen in the first two seasons. "Along with the great acting and writing that is why I [took the part] – to see if my hairdresser was right!"

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Shirley MacLaine Sends Dispatches from the Downton Abbey Set | Maggie Smith, Shirley MacLaine

Downton Abbey

Shirley MacLaine Sends Dispatches from the Downton Abbey Set

Originally posted 02/24/2012 07:45AM

She'll add some sass to the class.

The welcome news that Shirley MacLaine is joining the British bluebloods for Season 3 of the TV hit Downton Abbey has speculation running high on just how she'll fit in.

To her own eye, it appears to be just fine. Set to play an American character named Martha Levinson, who is the mother of Cora, Lady Grantham (Elizabeth McGovern), the 77-year-old Oscar winner Tweeted from the set in England this week.

"Everything is going well. We shot outside in wind and rain. Love the cast and crew," MacLaine said Wednesday, before adding on Thursday: "Amazing day on Downton Abbey set. I love the British humor and temperament and functionality. Maggie [Smith, who plays the Dowager Countess] is so subtle and so much fun!"

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Shirley MacLaine to Face Off Against Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey Season 3 | Maggie Smith, Shirley MacLaine

TV News

Shirley MacLaine Joins the Cast of Downton Abbey

Originally posted 01/30/2012 05:15PM

Look who's coming to Downton!

Shirley MacLaine will join the cast of British period drama Downton Abbey for its third season, producers confirmed Monday.

MacLaine, 77, will play Martha Levinson, the American mother of Elizabeth McGovern's wealthy countess, Lady Cora Grantham. The Oscar-winning screen legend will go toe to toe with Maggie Smith, who portrays the tart-tongued Dowager Countess Violet, according to the show's producers.

Gareth Neame, managing director of Carnival Films, which produces the series, said the new character "will be a wonderful combatant for Maggie Smith's Dowager Countess and we are excited at the prospect of Shirley MacLaine playing her."

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