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Downton Abbey Finale: A Reassuring Ending for a Turbulent Season | Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey Finale: A Reassuring Ending for a Turbulent Season

Originally posted 02/24/2014 05:30AM

Sunday's Downton Abbey on PBS Masterpiece brought a nice, gentle close to a difficult, unsatisfactory season. At the end we got to see Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes on a rare day off, at the English seaside, wading into the water and holding hands like two children afraid of being carried off by a wave.

This may even have hinted at a growing, sunset intimacy between the two. Given all the misalliances on Downton, what could be better than the prospect of a romance between the two characters with the best hearts?

Considering last season's brutal finale and the sometimes ridiculous swings of the show's plot, this could very well mean that Carson winds up like poor Mr. Pamuk, smuggled out of a bedroom wrapped in a sheet. Not yet, anyway.

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Historic Steel Magnolias House for Sale

Historic Steel Magnolias House for Sale

Originally posted 10/21/2013 12:30PM

Calling all house-hunting movie buffs: If you recognize the source of this line – "The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize" – and appreciate Southern architecture, get your bids ready.

The historic Louisiana residence where the all-star 1989 movie Steel Magnolias was filmed is being placed on the auction block Oct. 26, along with all the antiques and furnishings inside it.

Built in 1840, the movie stomping ground of Shirley MacLaine, Sally Field, Olympia Dukakis, Daryl Hannah and Julia Roberts in the town of Natchitoches was used as a hospital during the Civil War and recently operated as a bed-and-breakfast. Like the women in the movie, it epitomizes Southern character – genteel on the outside but strong of foundation.

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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: Miramax; AFP/Getty; The Weinstein Company
Which Oscar Winner Should Guest Star on Downton Abbey?

Downton Abbey

UpdatePosted 02/26/2013 06:30PM

Which Oscar Winner Should Guest Star on Downton Abbey?

Originally posted 02/26/2013 02:20PM

Shirley MacLaine came – and just as quickly went – on Downton Abbey this season, but her breezy cameo got us thinking.

Now that the Terms of Endearment Oscar winner has broken down the barrier, who among Academy Award winners and nominees should next make a guest appearance on the popular PBS series?

And just what sort of character should he or she play? Upstairs or down?

Here, then, are some recent Oscar-caliber actors who might suitably fit the bill. Please be so kind as to select your favorite. (And, in the comments section, do cast them in suitable roles.) Ta.

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Shirley MacLaine's Only Daughter Pens a Shocking New Tell-All

Originally posted 02/07/2013 01:40PM

Seeing her mom, Shirley MacLaine, play a saucy septuagenarian on Downton Abbey, Sachi Parker couldn't help but smile.

"She was true to form," Parker says of MacLaine, 78, whose zinger-slinging turn as Lady Grantham's American mom shook up the big house this season. "It certainly hit home."

Hearing about Parker's relationship with MacLaine makes it easy to understand why.

Raised mostly by her dad, Parker grew up feeling distanced from her movie-star mother. She yearned for MacLaine's attention – so much so that when Parker, 56, also an actress, became a mom herself (to Frank Jr., 16, and Arin, 14, her kids with ex-husband Frank Murray), "I overcompensated," she tells PEOPLE. "But being a great mom is healing for me."

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Filed Under: Shirley MacLaine
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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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TV News

Downton Abbey: Maggie Smith & Shirley MacLaine Face Off in Season 3 Promo

Originally posted 08/20/2012 11:40AM



Season 3 of Downton Abbey won't air in the U.S. until Jan. 6, but Britain's ITV is already promoting the return of the hit costume drama.

In the first of two 20-second clips, the Granthams are discussing the arrival of Lady Cora's mother Martha Levinson, played by Shirley MacLaine, from America.

"I'm so looking forward to seeing your mother again," says Lady Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham, played by Maggie Smith. "When I'm with her I'm reminded of the virtues of the English."

"Isn't she American?" asks Matthew Crawley, played by Dan Stevens.

"Exactly," quips Smith.

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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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Credit: Fred Prouser/Reuters/Landov
PHOTO: John Travolta's First Public Appearance Since Sex Scandal

John Travolta Makes First Public Appearance Since Sex Scandal

Originally posted 06/08/2012 04:00PM

John Travolta returned to the spotlight Thursday for the first time since sexual abuse allegations against him made headlines last month.

At the 40th American Film Institute Life Achievement Awards in L.A., the actor turned up as a surprise speaker to pay tribute to the night's honoree, Shirley MacLaine.

When it came to '70s movie musicals, it was MacLaine who helped get the ball rolling with her 1970 Golden Globe nominated performance in Sweet Charity. Travolta, meanwhile, capped off the decade with his robust 1977 Saturday Night Fever and 1978 Grease.

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Credit: Courtesy Taylor Swift
PHOTO: Taylor Swift and Dianna Agron Play Birthday Dress-Up (Again!) | Dianna Agron, Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift and Dianna Agron Play Birthday Dress-Up (Again!)

Originally posted 04/30/2012 12:15PM

You don't have to ask Taylor Swift and Dianna Agron twice to put on crazy costumes for a birthday party.

The pair have done so twice in the past week, and Tweeted pics of the results.

Last Tuesday, the pop star and the Glee actress dressed up "full-time fancy," in Swift's words, and went out with friends to dinner to celebrate Shirley MacLaine's 78th birthday.

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