Sep. 26, 2010
90 min.
ITV TV Network

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Downton Abbey (UK)

Downton Abbey is a historical drama written by Julian Fellowes. The series follows the lives of the Crawley family and the servants who work for them in an Edwardian country house just after the turn of the 20th century.

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Ethel Parks Downton Abbey (UK)
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Ethel Parks

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  Played by:
Amy NuttallAmy Nuttall
Amy Nuttall (born June 7, 1982) is an English actress and singer most notable for playing the role of ...

Character Bio

Ethel Parks photo
Ethel Parks was the new maid introduced in the second series as Gwen's replacement. Outspoken, Ethel does not like being told what to do by anyone, which often has her in conflict with Anna or Mrs Hughes. She says that she does not want to be in service for the rest of her life and often complains about her surroundings.

She begins an affair with Major Charles Bryant (played by Daniel Pirrie) while he is being treated at Downton while it is a convalescent home. Mrs Hughes dismisses her after discovering the two of them in bed together, but Ethel shortly returns having nowhere else to go when she finds out she is pregnant with his child. She names her son Charlie after his father, before moving away from Downton to start a new life.

In the Great War, Ethel has trouble supporting herself and her son and Mrs Hughes helps her, acting as her friend and bringing her food. Ethel tells Mrs Hughes that her neighbours think she is a war widow but admits that Major Bryant refuses to acknowledge that he is Charlie's father despite Ethel and Mrs Hughes's best efforts to get him to admit paternity. However, he is killed during the Battle of Vittorio Veneto, and so when Cora learns that Mrs Hughes is supporting Ethel, she is persuaded to invite Major Bryant's parents to Downton Abbey. Ethel bursts into the meeting with her son, proclaiming that Charlie is their grandchild but Mr Bryant accuses Ethel of only being after their money and insists that his son was a good man. He also insists that Ethel cannot prove that Charlie is Major Bryant's child. Eventually, his wife persuades him to accept the child as his grandson, and Mr. Bryant offers to adopt Charlie. Ethel, however, would be denied any contact, learning that Charlie will be told, if he asks, that his father died during the war and his mother died of Spanish flu. They insist that they can give Charlie a far better future than Ethel ever could. Horrified by Major Bryant's refusal to acknowledge Charlie and his father's bullying, Ethel refuses the offer. She is replaced in her position by war widow, Jane.

In the third series, Ethel returns, having entered into a life of prostitution. Considering the future of Charlie, she gives him to Mr and Mrs Bryant. She is employed in Crawley house by Mrs Crawley, and learns to cook from Mrs. Patmore, despite other servants leaving their posts. After Ethel attracts considerable gossip, the Dowager Countess intervenes, having Lady Edith place an advertisement for Ethel, so she may find a position elsewhere and have a fresh start. Despite misgivings, Mrs Crawley agrees with the plan, although Ethel seems unwilling to accept any position aside from one close to Charlie's new home. In response to this idea the Dowager Countess decides to ask Mrs Bryant in person if Ethel could have more access to Charlie. Mrs Bryant, who had been unhappy abandoning Ethel from the start, agrees to the plan, and Ethel leaves Mrs Crawley's employment to take her new job.

Episode Screenshots

01x05 - Episode 5
Season 1, Episode 05
06x09 - Christmas Day
Season 6, Episode 09
01x06 - Episode 6
Season 1, Episode 06
03x08 - Series 3, Episode 8
Season 3, Episode 08
[More Episodes]

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