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In Honor of Maggie Smith's Birthday, Her Best Downton Zingers | Downton Abbey, Maggie Smith

Happy Birthday, Maggie Smith: The Dowager's Best Downton Zingers

Originally posted 12/28/2013 12:10PM

Maggie Smith 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.

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Credit: Nick Briggs/PBS
VIDEO: Downton Abbey's Season 4 Trailer Revealed!

Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey's Season 4 Trailer Reveals Lady Mary's Grief

Originally posted 08/31/2013 04:20PM

The fourth season of Downton Abbey won't be on the air in the U.S. until next year, but fans of the British drama can get a tantalizing glimpse of what the lies ahead for the Crawley family in a new one-minute trailer.

As Lady Mary continues to mourn the loss of her husband, Matthew, who died in a car accident at the end of the last season, her grandmother, the Dowager Countess of Grantham, tells her: "You have a straightforward choice, you must choose either death or life."

But moving on isn't easy.

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Credit: ABC
TV Critic on Emmy Nods: Good for Kerry Washington! But What About Keri Russell?

TV News

UpdatePosted 07/18/2013 06:00PM

PEOPLE TV Critic on Emmy Nominations: Good Job, Kerry Washington!

Originally posted 07/18/2013 12:30PM

The best news out of Thursday's Emmy Awards nominations is that newlywed Kerry Washington is up for best actress for Scandal.

I was worried that the ABC melodrama – about a beautiful political fixer with conflicted romantic feelings for a handsome, emotionally disturbed president – wouldn't be considered serious enough to merit attention.

Actually, now that I've written that out, I can see why the show might not be considered serious. It's ridiculous. And, in fact, it was shut out of the other top categories. (Although Dan Bucatinsky got a guest-actor nod.)

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Credit: PBS; Inset: FilmMagic
Paul Giamatti Joins Downton Abbey Next Season

Paul Giamatti Joins Downton Abbey Next Season

Originally posted 06/24/2013 03:50PM

No stranger to period pieces – as those who saw him in the superlative HBO miniseries John Adams will attest – Paul Giamatti is joining the cast of Downton Abbey next year, for the season 4 finale, PBS announced on its website Monday.

He'll play the playboy brother of Cora, Countess of Grantham (Elizabeth McGovern), and the son of Martha Levinson (Shirley MacLaine, who is also returning to the popular British drama).

"Downton Abbey has seen many great characters visit the house over the years, and we couldn't be more thrilled to welcome the new faces that will be joining the regular cast of Downton Abbey in Season 4," the show's executive producer, Gareth Neame, said in a statement that really doesn't spill any beans.

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Credit: Chris Pizzello/AP; Getty
Diddy Does Downton in Hilarious Spoof

Downton Abbey

Diddy Does Downton Abbey – His Way

Originally posted 05/16/2013 03:45PM

Could Diddy possibly be Lady Mary's latest love interest?

Sadly, no – but for a minute there he really had us going.

When the hip-hop mogul and part-time actor announced to his 8.7 million Twitter followers Wednesday that he would be a series regular on the next season of Downton Abbey – his "favorite show" – it seemed ridiculous.

But then again, producers of the smash-hit PBS series recently announced that they are trying to diversify, and Diddy has done serious roles, including that of the son, Walter Lee Younger, in the 2004 Broadway revival of A Raisin in the Sun.

So, maybe?

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Downton Abbey

Sesame Street Spoofs Downton Abbey

Originally posted 02/04/2013 03:30PM



There's been plenty of drama on Downton Abbey this season but nothing compared to the challenges facing the residents of Upside Downton Abbey.

In a Sesame Street spoof of the hit PBS show, a Dowager Countess of Grantham lookalike requests several items from her butler, Carson, including tea, crumpets and a steak and kidney pie.

"I live to serve," he says, bringing her the food and drink. But each time the items fall to the ceiling because, the puppets discuss, everything is upside down on Upside Downton Abbey.

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Credit: Carnival Film & Television/PBS
What Caused Downton Abbey's Dramatic Plot Turn?

Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey's Dramatic Plot Turn: What Caused It?

Originally posted 01/28/2013 01:20PM

How seriously do TV viewers take what happens to the Crawleys and those in their sphere on Downton Abbey?

So seriously that, as the series' creator and writer Julian Fellowes recently admitted to PEOPLE, he even gets yelled at "a bit" by members of the public when something they dislike takes place on the show.

"And they know it all," the Oscar- and Emmy-winner, 63, said about the public's reaction. "They have opinions that are better than mine."

SPOILER ALERT: Details of Sunday's broadcast are about to be revealed.

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Credit: John Shearer/Invision/AP
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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Credit: Evening Standard/Getty; John Barr/Liaison/Getty
PHOTOS: Do You Recognize the Ladies of Downton Abbey?

Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey's Maggie Smith & Elizabeth McGovern: Before They Were Stars

Originally posted 01/14/2013 10:30AM

Everyone has a past ... even the actors on Downton Abbey.

Long before they were cast as members of the aristocratic Crawley family, Dame Maggie Smith and Elizabeth McGovern appeared in a variety of films, and Snakkle.com has the photos to prove it.

As Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham, Smith reigns over her costars, often offering some comic relief in the form of barbs. But prior to Downton and long before her iconic roles in Sister Act and the Harry Potter films, Smith was a fresh-faced girl engulfed in her studies.

(Smith, 78, won a Golden Globe Sunday night and is nominate ford a SAG Award for her role on Downton.)

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Credit: Nick Briggs
Downton Abbey Premiere's 5 Best Moments

Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey: 5 Best Moments from Season 3 Premiere

Originally posted 01/07/2013 09:35AM

Downton Abbey is back!

Sunday's two-hour premiere was full of developments – upstairs, downstairs and outside of the Crawleys' sprawling country home. As Mary and her fiancé Matthew prepare for their wedding, Lord Grantham gets word that his wife Cora's fortune has disappeared thanks to a bad investment in a Canadian railroad company. At the same time, Matthew has learned that he may become the heir to his late fiancée's father's inheritance. And so just when the problem of finding a practical heir to Downton is resolved, the future of the estate is once again in question. Anna is as loyal a wife as ever, working to free Bates from spending life in prison; Lady Edith continues to pursue the much older Sir Anthony; and housekeeper Mrs. Hughes may have cancer!

But that's just the tip of the iceberg that sank the Titanic. Here are the best moments from the season 3 premiere:

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