Maggie Smith Leaving Downtown Abbey After Sixth Season

Published on March 3, 2015.
Photo by Joan Wakeham / Rex

Rumors about the future of the hit series Downtown Abbey have been flying earlier in the year when it was reported that the show’s writer and creator Julian Fellows was lining up for work on a completely new series, The Gilded Age.

Although it was never settled what the piece of news meant, the team continued on with the sixth season with a spokesperson stating, “We began filming [the sixth season] a month ago and we’ll be filming until August. The show is commissioned on a season-by-season basis so we just don’t know yet and that’s always been the case.”

With the show’s future up in the air it seems if it does go on, it will be without star Maggie Smith, 80, who plays the sharp tongued Dowager Countess, Violet Crawley, as she discussed the future of her character and the show with The Sunday Times.

“They saw this is the last one. I can’t see how it could go on,” she said of the upcoming sixth season, confirming that it looks like it is indeed over, at the very least for her. “I mean, I certainly can’t keep going. To my knowledge, I must be 110 by now. We’re into the late 1920’s,” she joked of her elderly character.

Smith has played the role since the show began in 2010 and has won two Emmy awards as well as a Golden Globe and two Screen Actors Guild awards and although she has starred in many hits including the Harry Potter franchise, she says the fame from Downtown is something else.

“One isn’t safe after doing Downton. What’s sad is I’ve gone my whole life without any of that. I could go round galleries and things on my own and I just can’t do it now.”

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