Dec. 28th, 1934
Ilford, Essex, England, UK
Guest TV Roles
Herself - Actress (segment "Dame Maggie")
Professor Minerva McGonagall
One of the world's most famous and distinguished actress, Dame Maggie Smith, born as Margaret Natalie Smith, was born on the 29th of December in 1934 in Essex. Her father was a teacher at Oxford University and her mother worked as a secretary. Smith has been married twice; first with actor Robert Stephens (I) and then with playwright Beverley Cross. Her marriage with Stephens ended in 1974 on divorce and the marriage between her and Cross was finished in 1999, when he died. With Stephens Smith has two sons, Chris and Toby, who are also actors.
Maggie Smith's career began at the Oxford Playhouse in the 50s. She made her film debut in 1956 as one of the party guests in a movie called Child in the House (1956). After that she has been acting with the most prominent actors and actresses in the world in over sixty films and TV-series, which include Othello (1965) with Laurence Olivier, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969), California Suite (1978) with Michael Caine (I) and Jane Fonda, A Room with a View (1985), Richard III (1995) with Ian McKellen and Jim Broadbent, Franco Zeffirelli's Tea with Mussolini (1999) with Judi Dench, Joan Plowright and Cher (I) and Gosford Park (2001) with Kristin Scott Thomas and Clive Owen, directed by Robert Altman (I). Maggie Smith has also been nominated for an Oscar six times and won twice, for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969) and California Suite (1978).
Lately Maggie Smith has appeared in very popular Harry Potter movie series as formidable Professor McGonagall. She has also been in the headlines presently because of her breast cancer, but now she has been reported to be recovering from that and soon continuing to film last two Harry Potters and Julian Fellowes' film From Time to Time (2009) with Timothy Spall, Anne Reid and Hugh Bonneville.
- One of the first people to have a star on the Avenue of Stars - a British version of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. 7 other Harry Potter actors also have one
- She was awarded the 1981 London Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Actress for her performance in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
- Made her stage debut with the Oxford University Dramatic Society as Viola in Shakespare's "Twelfth Night." Bird-dogged by an American theatrical impresario, the part led to her being cast in her Broadway debut in "New Faces of 1956."
- Was the first of 4 consecutive winners of the Best Supporting Actress Oscar to have the initials 'M.S.', the others being: 'Meryl Streep' (qv) - _Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)_ (qv), 'Mary Steenburgen' (qv) - _Melvin and Howard (1980)_ (qv), and 'Maureen Stapleton' (qv) - _Reds (1981)_ (qv).
- Was a good friend of Carry On star Kenneth Williams.
- She was awarded the 1984 London Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Actress for her performance in The Way of the World.
- While filming _Death on the Nile (1978)_ (qv), aboard ship, no one was allowed his or her own dressing room, so she shared a dressing room with 'Bette Davis' (qv) & 'Angela Lansbury' (qv).
- Was a member of the Old Vic Company from 1959 to 1963, when the company was dissolved. It served as the basis for the new National Theatre being organized by Sir Laurence Olivier, whom invited Maggie to join. She gave a memorable performance as Desdemona opposite Olivier's Othello at The National Theatre's temporary home at the Old Vic theater building in 1964. Repeating the performance in the 1965 film made of that production, she won a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nomination, her first of six Oscar nods.