Dame Margaret Natalie "Maggie" Smith, DBE, is an English film, stage and television actress. She has had an extensive career both on screen and in live theatre, and is known as one of Britain's preeminent actors. She made her stage debut in 1952 and is still performing after 60 years. She has won numerous awards for acting, both for the stage and for film, including seven BAFTA Awards, two Academy Awards, three Golden Globes, three Emmy Awards and a Tony Award.
Her critically acclaimed films include Othello, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Travels with My Aunt, California Suite, Clash of the Titans, A Room with a View and Gosford Park. She has also appeared in a number of widely popular films, including Hook, both Sister Act films, and as Professor Minerva McGonagall in the Harry Potter film series. She currently stars in the critically acclaimed drama Downton Abbey as Violet Crawley, the Dowager Countess of Grantham, for which she has won a Golden Globe and two consecutive Emmy awards.
In September 2012, she was honoured with the Stratford Shakespeare Festivalís Legacy Award. She accepted the award, presented to her by Christopher Plummer, in a star-studded ceremony at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel.