Margaret Natalie Smith
was born in Ilford, Essex on 28 December 1934.
Now, eighty three years later, Maggie Smith is one of Britain’s most well known actors.
Appearing in over fifty films, innumerable TV productions and countless stage performances, Dame Maggie Smith has dominated British drama for six decades.
Maggie Smith first appeared on stage in 1952
in an Oxford Playhouse production of Twelfth Night. Her first TV role in 1955 was an episode of the BBC Sunday Night Theatre and her first film role was as a party guest in Child in the House in 1956.
Fast forward and Maggie Smith’s most recent stage performance was in 2007:
The Lady from Dubuque by Edward Albee. Her most recent TV was Downton Abbey (2010 – 2015) as Lady Crawley and The Lady in The Van (2015) was her most recent film.
I enjoyed Maggie Smith’s Oscar winning performance in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie in 1969.
By then Maggie Smith was a well established stage, TV and film actress with a formidable reputation.
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie was a fantastic film with a brilliant script based on the novel by Muriel Spark. Maggie Smith played the role brilliantly and the novel is still worth reading.
A few quotes:
For those who like that sort of thing,” said Miss Brodie in her best Edinburgh voice, “That is the sort of thing they like.
It is well, when in difficulties, to say never a word, neither black nor white. Speech is silver but silence is golden.
These years are still the years of my prime. It is important to recognise the years of one’s prime, always remember that.
I was about to start teacher training when I read The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and saw Maggie Smith in the film. This quote stayed with me during training and throughout my career.
To me education is a leading out of what is already there in the pupil’s soul.
Maggie Smith continues to perform.
A TV documentary Nothing Like a Dame is in post-production. And Sherlock Gnomes, an animated film in which Maggie Smith is the voice of Lady Bluebury, the leader of the blue gnomes and Gnomeo’s widowed mother, is scheduled for release in 2018.