Downton Departure: Maggie Smith To End Dowager Countess Role After Next Season

dowager-countess-of-granthamLady Mary: “I was only going to say Sybil that is entitled to her opinions.”
Countess Violet: “No, she isn’t, until she is married. And then her husband will tell her what her opinions are.”

“Oh, I should steer clear of May. Marry in May, rue the day.” – Dowager Countess

Downton Abbey without our beloved tart-tongued countess? Numerous news reports this morning reveal that Dame Maggie Smith, who plays the Dowager Countess Violet of Grantham in “Downton Abbey,” has said that the next season of the British period drama will be her last.

Ms. Smith, 80, told the Sunday Times her part is coming to an end.

“They say this is the last one, and I can’t see how it could go on,” she said. “I mean, I certainly can’t keep going. To my knowledge, I must be 110 by now. We’re into the late 1920s.”

Our beloved Dowager possesses an incredible gift for cutting out the B.S. and getting to the truth. No one can match her when it comes to saying it like it is.

“When you’re not working it’s scary, and when you are working it’s scary, because you don’t know if you’ve got the energy to get through the day,” she said. “But the bleakness of not doing it, and missing out on the friendships that you make, is too much to bear.”

Meanwhile, Ms. Smith’s son Toby Stephens, who’s starring as the dashing Captain Flint in the Starz drama “Black Sails,” told assembled TV critics (M&C is a member of the Television Critics’ Association) a few seasons back: “I have to say I don’t regularly tune in [Downton Abbey]. It’s not really the kind of show that I enjoy. I appreciate what my mum does in it. She’s great in it. But it’s just not really what I enjoy watching.”

Ms. Smith can be seen in the “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” alongside Judi Dench and Richard Gere.