Maggie Smith has informed writer Julian Fellowes she would like for the third season of Downton Abbey to be her last, according to the Daily Mail, which added that he had persuaded her to stick around for the Christmas special. Smith plays the acid-tongued Dowager Countess. Britain’s ITV drama, which airs on PBS’ Masterpiece in the United States, is filmed at Highclere Castle in Hampshire and at Ealing Studios in London. A source told the Daily Mail that “Maggie has asked Julian to write her character out. She is filming until August and then wants to leave, going out on a high. She thinks that three series is enough.” Smith, 77, won an Oscar for the title role in the 1969 movie The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie and a Supporting Actress Oscar for Neil Simon’s 1978 California Suite, but she’s probably better known for her work in the Harry Potter movies and for another Fellowes film, Gosford Park.
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