Do you know that Maggie Smith decided to become an actress almost over 70 years ago? Since that time, she has played more than 100 different and brilliant characters! But the sad part is most of the audience only remember her as an old wise and honourable lady wizard, Minerva McGonagall in Harry Potter and the dowager countess of Grantham in Downtown Abbey. Therefore, we have curated a whole list of amazing facts that will blow your mind!!!
1. An Introduction to Margaret Nataile Smith: Margaret was born in the eastern suburb of London, on December 28, 1934. You have seen Margaret playing elegant and noble roles so perfectly but in reality, she was from a very simple family.
Margaret always dreamt of becoming an actress but her parents never supported her. In fact, her own mother doubted her capabilities and talent saying that a girl “with a face like that” could never become an actress.
2. A start to Margaret’s career: At the age of 17 she took her first step towards acting by debuting on a big stage just after one year of studying acting. She played her very first role in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night as Viola.
Many of you will not believe this but Maggie started her career as a comedic actress and further, she also did several commercial productions for years. She was the definition of an all-rounder! At 22, she was performing in a Broadway show! She was indeed brilliant in whatever she did.
3. Maggie won Oscars for her outstanding performance in Prime of Miss Jean Brodie as she played the role of an idealist powerful teacher. She also won another Oscar for “Best Supporting Actress” for her role in California Suite.
4. The owner of the “Triple Crown of Acting” and our hearts!! Maggie Smith has collected 3 biggest awards (an Oscar) for a movie role, (an Emmy Award) for a television role and (a Tony Award) for theatre roles.
5. The series of Awards continues: Maggie didn’t stop after winning those 3 awards, she then was appointed as a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for her valuable contribution to the arts. She doesn’t even have any education apart from theatre school, still, 3 famous British universities awarded her with the title of Doctor of Letters.
6. A glimpse of Maggie’s relationships: Maggie’s personal life was pretty melodramatic. She married actor Robert Stephens and gave birth to 2 sons in her marriage with Stephens. Though their marriage was unsuccessful and they, later on, got divorced.
Maggie married her very first love Beverly Cross soon after she got divorced. Their love was unconditional and they spent 22 years together until the moment Beverly died from an illness. Maggie expressed how she is unable to overcome his death in some interviews.
7. A tough time for Maggie Smith: Maggie was diagnosed with thyroid disease (Graves’ disease) at the age of 54. The disease could have ended Maggie’s career but she underwent radiation therapy and ophthalmic surgery to treat the illness.
8. But Maggie’s fight with illness was not over yet! While she was shooting for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, she was fighting breast cancer. She was in the worst condition and because of the heavy medicines she withdrew herself. Due to the severe medications and disease, she has to leave the theatre for 12 years!
Maggie was so afraid, that she even thought she’ll never be able to work again. But she fought the disease and came back in 2019. Despite all the difficulties she faced in life, she never gave up and fought back. This is what makes Maggie Smith a legendary actor!!