Dame Maggie Smith’s biggest role since the conclusion of the “Harry Potter” franchise has arguably been as Violet Crawley, the Dowager Countess of Grantham on “Downton Abbey.” She technically began her role on the period program in 2010, a year before her final appearance as Professor McGonagall, and the wry and witty duchess won the actor three Primetime Emmy Awards in 2011, 2012, and 2016. She went on to continue the part in two films, 2019’s “Downton Abbey” and 2022’s “Downton Abbey: A New Era.” Smith also returned to the stage in 2019’s “A German Life,” playing the role of Brunhilde Pomsel (via Bridge Theatre).
The “Gosford Park” star has maintained a steady career in film since she defended Hogwarts for the last time. She starred in “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” in 2011 and returned for the comedy’s sequel, “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” in 2015. She played the lead role of Miss Shepherd in “The Lady in the Van” that same year and also appeared in the 2021 British Christmas feature “A Boy Called Christmas.” Smith also voiced the role of Lady Bluebury in the animated movie “Sherlock Gnomes.”