Oscar Actors: Smith, Maggie–Background, Career, Awards (Cum Advantage)

Maggie Smith Career Summary:

Occupational Inheritance:

Nationality: UK

Social Class: mother Scottish secretary from Glasgow, father, public health pathologist, University of Oxford





Teacher/Inspirational Figure:

Radio Debut:

TV Debut:

Stage Debut: Oxford Playhouse, 1952, aged 18

Broadway Debut:

Film Debut:

Breakthrough Role:

Oscar Role: Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, 1969; aged 35

Other Noms: 5 nom (2 wins)

Nom Span: 1965-2001; 36 years

Other Awards: Tony Award, 1990

Frequent Collaborator:

Screen Image: character actor

Last Film:

Career Output:

Film Career Span:

Marriage: 2, actor and playwright




Dame Margaret Natalie Smith CH DBE (born 28 December 1934) is an English actress. She has had an extensive career on stage, film, and television, which began in the mid-1950s. Smith has appeared in more than 60 films and over 70 plays, and is one of Britain’s most recognizable actresses. She was made a Dame by Queen Elizabeth II in 1990 for contributions to the performing arts, and a Companion of Honor in 2014 for services to drama.

Smith began her career on stage as a student, performing at the Oxford Playhouse in 1952, and made her professional debut on Broadway in New Faces of ’56. For her work on the London stage, she has won a record six Best Actress Evening Standard Awards for The Private Ear and The Public Eye (both 1962), Hedda Gabler (1970), Virginia (1981), The Way of the World (1984), Three Tall Women (1994), and A German Life (2019). She received Tony Award nominations for Private Lives (1975) and Night and Day (1979), before winning the 1990 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for Lettice and Lovage. She appeared in Stratford Shakespeare Festival productions of Antony and Cleopatra (1976) and Macbeth (1978), and West End productions of A Delicate Balance (1997) and The Breath of Life (2002). She received the Society of London Theatre Special Award in 2010.

On screen, Smith first drew praise for the crime film Nowhere to Go (1958), for which she received her first nomination for a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) award.[3] She has won two Academy Awards, winning Best Actress for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969) and Best Supporting Actress for California Suite (1978). She is one of only seven actresses to have won in both categories.[4] She has won a record four BAFTA Awards for Best Actress, including for A Private Function (1984) and The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne (1988), a BAFTA Best Supporting Actress for Tea with Mussolini (1999), and three Golden Globe Awards. She received four other Oscar nominations for Othello (1965), Travels with My Aunt (1972), A Room with a View (1986), and Gosford Park (2001).

Smith played Professor Minerva McGonagall in the Harry Potter film series (2001–2011). Her other films include Love and Pain and the Whole Damn Thing (1973), Death on the Nile (1978), Clash of the Titans (1981), Evil Under the Sun (1982), Hook (1991), Sister Act (1992), Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993), The Secret Garden (1993), The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2012), and The Lady in the Van (2015). She won an Emmy Award in 2003 for My House in Umbria, to become one of the few actresses to have achieved the Triple Crown of Acting,[6][7] and starred as Lady Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham, on Downton Abbey (2010–2015), for which she won three Emmys, her first non-ensemble Screen Actors Guild Award, and her third Golden Globe. Her honorary film awards include the BAFTA Special Award in 1993 and the BAFTA Fellowship in 1996.

She received the Stratford Shakespeare Festival’s Legacy Award in 2012, and the Bodley Medal by the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Libraries in 2016.

Margaret Natalie Smith was born in Ilford, Essex, on December 28, 1934. Her mother, Margaret Hutton (née Little; 1896–1977), was a Scottish secretary from Glasgow, and father, Nathaniel Smith (1902–1991), was a public health pathologist from Newcastle upon Tyne, who worked at the University of Oxford.

During her childhood, Smith’s parents told her the romantic story of how they had met on the train from Glasgow to London via Newcastle. She moved with her family to Oxford when she was four years old. She had older twin brothers, Alistair (died 1981) and Ian. The latter went to architecture school. Smith attended Oxford High School until age 16, when she left to study acting at the Oxford Playhouse.

In 1952, aged 17, under the auspices of the Oxford University Dramatic Society, Smith began her career as Viola in Twelfth Night at the Oxford Playhouse. In 1954, she appeared in the television program Oxford Accents produced by Ned Sherrin. She appeared in her first film in 1956, in an uncredited role in Child in the House,[21] and made her Broadway debut the same year playing several roles in the review New Faces of ’56, at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre from June to December 1956.[22][23] In 1957, she starred opposite Kenneth Williams in the musical comedy Share My Lettuce, written by Bamber Gascoigne.

In 1959, she received the first of her 18 BAFTA Film and TV nominations for her role in the film Nowhere to Go.

In 1962, Smith won the first of a record six Best Actress Evening Standard Awards for her roles in Peter Shaffer’s plays The Private Ear and The Public Eye, again opposite Kenneth Williams.

She became a fixture at the Royal National Theatre in the 1960s, most notably for playing Desdemona in Othello opposite Laurence Olivier, and earning her first Oscar nomination for her performance in the 1965 film version. She appeared opposite Olivier in Ibsen’s The Master Builder, and played comedic roles in The Recruiting Officer and Much Ado About Nothing. Her other films at this time included Go to Blazes (1962), The V.I.P.s (1963), The Pumpkin Eater (1964), Young Cassidy (1965), Hot Millions (1968), and Oh! What A Lovely War (1969).

Smith won the Best Actress for her performance in the title role of the 1969 film The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. Vanessa Redgrave had originated the role on stage in London, and Zoe Caldwell won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play, when she played the role in New York. The role also won Smith her first BAFTA Award.

In 1970, she played the title role in Ingmar Bergman’s London production of the Ibsen play Hedda Gabler, winning her second Evening Standard award for Best Actress. She received her third Oscar nomination for the 1972 film Travels with My Aunt. She also appeared in the film Love and Pain and the Whole Damn Thing (1973). In the mid-1970s, she made several guest appearances on The Carol Burnett Show.

From 1976 to 1980, she appeared in numerous productions at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario, to acclaim; her roles included Queen Elizabeth in Richard III, Cleopatra, Lady Macbeth, Virginia Woolf in Virginia, and opposite Brian Bedford in the Noël Coward comedy Private Lives.

Also during this time, she starred on Broadway in Private Lives in 1975 and Night and Day in 1979, receiving Tony Award nominations for both. In 1978, Smith played opposite Michael Caine in Neil Simon’s California Suite, playing an Oscar loser, for which she received the 1978 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. For this role, she also won her first Golden Globe Award. Afterward, upon hearing that Michael Palin was about to embark on the film The Missionary (1982) with Smith, her co-star Michael Caine is supposed to have humorously telephoned Palin, warning him that she would steal the film. Her other films at this time include Murder by Death (1976) with Vincent Canby of The New York Times writing, that the film had one of Simon’s “nicest, breeziest screenplays,” with James Coco “very, very funny as the somewhat prissy take-off on Hercule Poirot” and David Niven and Maggie Smith “marvelous as Dick and Dora Charleston, though they haven’t enough to do.”

Smith also starred in Death on the Nile (1978) alongside Angela Lansbury, Bette Davis, Peter Ustinov, and David Niven.

In 1981, Smith starred in the Merchant Ivory film Quartet alongside Alan Bates and Isabelle Adjani. The film premiered at the 34th Cannes Film Festival where it received positive reviews. Smith received an Evening Standard Award for Best Actress for her performance. Smith also played the goddess Thetis in Clash of the Titans (1981).

For her role on television as Mrs Silly, she received the first of her four Best Actress BAFTA TV Award nominations.

On stage, she won her third and fourth Evening Standard awards for Best Actress, for Virginia in 1981 and The Way of the World in 1984.

She won two more Best Actress BAFTA Awards for her roles as Joyce Chilvers in the 1984 black comedy A Private Function, and the title role in the 1987 film The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne.

In 1986 Smith appeared as Charlotte Bartlett in the Merchant Ivory Production of A Room with a View. The film received universal acclaim earning 8 Academy Award nominations including Best Picture. The film starred Helena Bonham Carter, Daniel Day-Lewis, Judi Dench, Simon Callow, and Denholm Elliott. For Smith’s performance she earned her fifth Academy Award nomination, and won her won her second Golden Globe Award and her third British Academy Film Award.

In 1987, she starred in A Bed Among the Lentils, part of Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads series, receiving a second BAFTA TV nomination. She starred in the 1987 London production of Lettice and Lovage alongside Margaret Tyzack, receiving an Olivier Award nomination, and reprised the role in 1990, when it transferred to Broadway, and won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play. The play was written specifically for her by the playwright Peter Shaffer.

In the early 1990s, appeared in various box office comedies. In 1991, Smith appeared as Wendy Darling in Steven Spielberg’s 1991 hit movie Hook, a fantasy adventure film based on the Peter Pan character. The film starred Robin Williams as Pan, Dustin Hoffman as Hook, and Julia Roberts as Tinker Bell. The film was a financial success making $300 million at the box office. In 1992, Smith starred as Mother Superior in the Whoopi Goldberg comedy film Sister Act and its sequel, Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993). In 1996, Smith appeared in the comedy film The First Wives Club alongside Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton and Bette Midler. Smith also received a third British Academy Television Award nomination for the 1992 TV film Memento Mori,[5] and her first Primetime Emmy Award nomination for her role in the 1993 PBS television film Suddenly, Last Summer.

In 1993, Smith appeared in the film adaptation of The Secret Garden directed by Agnieszka Holland. The film was a critical success, Smith in particular was praised for her performance as Mrs. Medlock earning a British Academy Film Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. In 1995, Smith starred another film adaptation this time of William Shakespeare’s Richard III (1995) starring Ian McKellen in the titular role. The film adapts the play’s story and characters to a setting based on 1930s Britain, with Richard depicted as a fascist plotting to usurp the throne. The film also starred Annette Benning, Jim Broadbent, Robert Downey Jr., Nigel Hawthorne, and Kristin Scott Thomas. Smith also starred in another film by Holland titled Washington Square (1997).

Her 1990s stage roles included Lady Bracknell in Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of being Earnest in 1993, the Elder Tall Woman in Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women in 1994, which won her a fifth Evening Standard award. In 1997 Smith played Claire in another Albee play, A Delicate Balance opposite Eileen Atkins. In 1999, Smith played the title role (known as Miss Shepherd) in Alan Bennett’s stage play that in 2015 was filmed: The Lady in the Van. She won a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress for the 1999 film Tea with Mussolini,[5] in which she played Lady Hester. In 1999, Smith starred in the BBC television adaptation of David Copperfield alongside Daniel Radcliffe. Smith portrayed Betsey Trotwood for which she received a British Academy Television Awards nomination.

From 2001 to 2011, Smith gained great acclaim and international recognition for playing Professor Minerva McGonagall in the Harry Potter movies. Smith reunited with Daniel Radcliffe with whom she recently starred in David Copperfield from 1999. Smith appeared in seven of the eight films. The series was known for hiring legendary and iconic British actors including, Michael Gambon, Alan Rickman, Robbie Coltrane, Emma Thompson, Ralph Fiennes, and Helena Bonham Carter. Without inflation adjustment, it is the third highest-grossing film series with $7.7 billion in worldwide receipts. In 2016 while promoting, The Lady in the Van, Smith shared her experiences working on the Harry Potter films and working with the late Alan Rickman. “He [Rickman] was such a terrific actor, and that was such a terrific character that he played. And it was a joy to be with him. We used to laugh together because we ran out of reaction shots. They were always – when everything had been done and the children were finished, they would turn the camera around and we’d have to do various reaction shots of amazement or sadness and things. And we used to say we’d got to about number 200-and-something and we’d run out of knowing what to do when the camera came around on us. But he was a joy.”

In 2001, Smith appeared in the British ensemble murder mystery Gosford Park which directed by Robert Altman. The film’s cast included Michael Gambon, Helen Mirren, Kristen Scott Thomas, Eileen Atkins, Emily Watson, Charles Dance, Richard E. Grant, Derek Jacobi, and Stephen Fry. She received her sixth Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress alongside Mirren. The film premiered at the 2001 London Film Festival where it received critical acclaim from critics.

In 2002, Smith reunited with Judi Dench for David Hare’s stage play The Breath of Life. She also acted alongside Dench in the film Ladies in Lavender (2004) directed by Charles Dance. In 2003, Smith received her first Primetime Emmy Award for the HBO Television film My House in Umbria. In 2004 she toured Australia in Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads in 2004. During 2007, Smith had a productive year appearing in films, television and the stage. In March she starred in a revival of Edward Albee’s stage play The Lady from Dubuque which ran at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in the West End.[30] Smith that same year also starred in another HBO television movie, Capturing Mary alongside Ruth Wilson for which she was nominated for her fourth Primetime Emmy Award this time for Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie. Smith also appeared in the British costume drama Becoming Jane, a film which centers around the life of Jane Austen played by Anne Hathaway. The film also starred James McAvoy, Julie Walters and James Cromwell.


Highclere Castle from Downton Abbey
From 2010 to 2015, Smith appeared as Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham, in the British period drama Downton Abbey. The series featured performances from Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Michelle Dockery, Lily James, Jim Carter and Penelope Wilton. The show became a cultural phenomenon, with her performance becoming a fan favorite. This role won her three Primetime Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe Award and four Screen Actors Guild Awards.[31][32][33] In a March 2015 interview with Joe Utichi in The Sunday Times, Smith announced that the sixth season of Downton Abbey would be her last (it was in fact the last to be produced).[34] In September 2019, a continuation of the series in form of a feature-length film was in theaters entitled simply, Downton Abbey. The film was a critical and financial success. The film received $194.3 million at the box office.[35]

In 2012, she played Muriel in the British comedy The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel alongside Judi Dench, Dev Patel, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, and Penelope Wilton. The film was distributed by Fox Searchlight and received positive reviews. The film was such a financial success it spawned a sequel, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2015). Also in 2012, Smith starred in Dustin Hoffman’s directorial debut, Quartet, based on Ronald Harwood’s play. The film co-starred Tom Courtney, Pauline Collins, Billy Connolly and Michael Gambon. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival to positive reviews. In 2014, Smith starred in the romantic comedy My Old Lady alongside Kristen Scott Thomas and Kevin Kline. The film received modest critical praise according to Rotten Tomatoes with Smith’s performance being a standout.[36]

On 30 October 2015, Smith appeared on BBC’s The Graham Norton Show, her first appearance on a chat show in 42 years. During the show, Smith discussed her appearance in the comedy-drama film The Lady in the Van alongside Alex Jennings which was directed by Nicholas Hytner.[37][38] The film which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival, received critical acclaim with Kate Muir of The Times praising Smith’s performance writing, “Smith delivers a compelling performance in The Lady in the Van, as Alan Bennett’s play comes to the big screen 15 years after it premiered at the Royal National Theatre.”[39] Smith received a Golden Globe Award and British Academy Film Award nominations for her performance.

In 2018, Smith starred in a British documentary titled, Nothing Like a Dame directed by Roger Michell focusing on the film documents conversations between actresses Smith, Judi Dench, Eileen Atkins, and Joan Plowright which were interspersed with scenes from their careers on film and stage.[40][41] The film was released in the United States as Tea with Dames.

In April 2019, Smith returned to the London stage for the first time in 12 years, starring in A German Life.[42] The new play by Christopher Hampton was drawn from the life and testimony of Brunhilde Pomsel (1911–2017), in which Smith was alone on stage, performing a 100-minute-long monologue to the audience. Jonathan Kent took the directorial role.[43] Her performance won her a record sixth Best Actress Evening Standard award.[44]

In 2019, it was announced that Smith would be starring in the Netflix adaptation of the children’s book, A Boy Called Christmas. The film also stars Sally Hawkins, Kristen Wiig, Jim Broadbent, and Toby Jones.[45][46]

In 2020, it was announced Smith would be starring in an Irish drama film, The Miracle Club with Kathy Bates and Laura Linney. The film’s plot is being described as a “joyful and hilarious” journey of a group of riotous working-class women from Dublin, whose pilgrimage to Lourdes in France leads them to discover each other’s friendship and their own personal miracles.”[47][48]

In November 2020, Smith joined Sir Kenneth Branagh, Dame Judi Dench, Sir Derek Jacobi, and Sir Ian McKellen for conversation on Zoom titled, For One Knight Only for the charity Acting for Others. Branagh described the group as “the greatest quartet of Shakespearean actors on the planet” as they talked about the highs and lows of their careers.

It was announced that Smith would star in the film version of Christopher Hampton’s A German Life. This is a role that she originated onstage in 2019 in London but due to the COVID-19 pandemic couldn’t play the role on the Broadway.[50]


1956 Child in the House Party Guest
1958 Nowhere to Go Bridget Howard
1962 Go to Blazes Chantal
1963 The V.I.P.s Miss Mead
1964 The Pumpkin Eater Philpot
1965 Young Cassidy Nora
Othello Desdemona
1967 The Honey Pot Sarah Watkins
1968 Hot Millions Patty Terwilliger Smith
1969 The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie Jean Brodie
Oh! What a Lovely War Music Hall Star
1972 Travels with My Aunt Aunt Augusta Bertram
1973 Love and Pain and the Whole Damn Thing Lila Fisher
1976 Murder by Death Dora Charleston
1978 Death on the Nile Miss Bowers
California Suite Diana Barrie
1981 Quartet Lois Heidler
Clash of the Titans Thetis
1982 Evil Under the Sun Daphne Castle
The Missionary Lady Isabel Ames
1983 Better Late Than Never Miss Anderson
1984 Lily in Love Lily Wynn
A Private Function Joyce Chilvers
1985 A Room with a View Charlotte Bartlett
1987 The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne Judith Hearne
1990 Romeo.Juliet Rosaline Voice
1991 Hook Wendy Darling
1992 Sister Act Mother Superior
1993 The Secret Garden Mrs. Medlock
Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit Mother Superior
1995 Richard III Cecily Neville
1996 The First Wives Club Gunilla Garson Goldberg
1997 Washington Square Aunt Lavinia Penniman
1999 Curtain Call Lily Marlowe
Tea with Mussolini Lady Hester Random
The Last September Lady Myra Naylor
2001 Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone Minerva McGonagall
Gosford Park Constance Trentham
2002 Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood Caro Eliza Bennett
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Minerva McGonagall
2004 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Ladies in Lavender Janet Widdington
2005 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Minerva McGonagall
Keeping Mum Grace Hawkins
2007 Becoming Jane Lady Gresham
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Minerva McGonagall
2009 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
From Time to Time Linnet Oldknow
2010 Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang Agatha Docherty
2011 Gnomeo & Juliet Lady Bluebury Voice
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 Minerva McGonagall
2012 The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Muriel Donnelly
Quartet Jean Horton
2014 My Old Lady Mathilde Girard
2015 The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Muriel Donnelly
The Lady in the Van Miss Shepherd
2018 Sherlock Gnomes Lady Bluebury Voice
Nothing Like a Dame Herself Documentary
2019 Downton Abbey Violet Crawley,
Dowager Countess of Grantham
2021 A Boy Called Christmas Aunt Ruth Post-production
2021 A German Life Brunhilde Pomsel Pre-production
2022 The Miracle Club Pre-production


1955 BBC Sunday-Night Theatre Performer Episode: “The Makepeace Story #3: Family Business”
1956 Theatre Royal Paula Benson Episode: “Death Under the City”
The Adventures of Aggie Fiona Frobisher-Smith Episode: “Cobalt Blue”
1957 Sing for Your Supper Ann Carter Television Movie
Kraft Television Theatre Performer Episode: “Night of the Plague”
ITV Play of the Week Various roles 6 episodes: 1957–1960
On Stage – London Performer Episode: “Episode #1.3”
1958 Armchair Theatre Julie, The Girl, Anna Carnot 3 episodes: 1958–1960
1959 ITV Television Playhouse Doto, Elaine 2 episodes
1966 ITV Play of the Week Victoria Episode: “Home and Beauty”
1967 Much Ado About Nothing Beatrice Television Movie
1968 Play of the Month Ann Whitefield Episode: Man and Superman, BBC
ITV Playhouse Mrs. Wislack Episode: “On Approval”
1972 The Merchant of Venice Portia Episode: Play of the Month, BBC
The Millionairess Epifania
1974–75 The Carol Burnett Show Various roles American TV debut; 3 episodes
1983 All for Love Mrs Silly Episode: “Mrs Silly”
1988 Talking Heads Susan Episode: “A Bed Among the Lentils”
1992 Screen Two Mrs. Mabel Pettigrew Episode: “Memento Mori”
1993 Great Performances Violet Venable Episode: “Suddenly, Last Summer”
1999 All the King’s Men Queen Alexandra Television Movie, BBC
David Copperfield Betsey Trotwood Miniseries – 2 episodes
2002-05 Charlie Rose Guest 3 episodes
2003 My House in Umbria Emily Delahunty Television Movie, HBO
2007 Capturing Mary Mary Gilbert Television Movie, HBO
2010–15 Downton Abbey Violet Crawley,
Dowager Countess of Grantham Series – 52 episodes
2014 Fifty Years on Stage Mrs. Sullen Television Documentary
2015 The Graham Norton Show Guest Episode: Maggie Smith/Alex Jennings
2018 Nothing Like a Dame Self Documentary


1952 Twelfth Night Viola Oxford Playhouse
1952 He Who Gets Slapped Performer Clarendon Press
1952 Cinderella Oxford Playhouse
1953 Rookery Nook
1953 Housemaster
1953 Cakes and Ale revue, Edinburgh Festival
1953 The Love of Four Colonels Oxford Playhouse
1954 The Ortolan Maxton Hall
1954 Don’t Listen Ladies Oxford Playhouse
1954 The Government Inspector
1954 The Letter
1954 A Man About The House
1954 On the Mile revue, EF
1954 Oxford Accents Watergate Theatre, London
1954 Theatre 1900 Oxford Playhouse
1954 Listen to the Wind
1955 The Magistrate
1955 The School for Scandal
1956 New Faces of ’56 Various roles Ethel Barrymore Theatre, Broadway
1957 Share My Lettuce Performer Lyric Theatre
Comedy Theatre
Garrick Theatre
1958 The Stepmother St. Martin’s Theatre
1959 The Double Dealer Lady Plyant The Old Vic
1959 As You Like It Celia
1959 Richard II The Queen
1959 The Merry Wives of Windsor Mistress Ford
1960 What Every Woman Knows Maggie Wylie
1960 Rhinoceros Daisy Strand Theatre
1960 Strip the Willow Performer UK tour
1961 The Rehearsal Lucile Bristol Old Vic
Globe Theatre
Queen’s Theatre
1962 The Private Ear & The Public Eye Belinda/Doreen Globe Theatre
1963 Mary, Mary Mary Queen’s Theatre
1963 The Recruiting Officer Silvia Royal National Theatre
1964 Othello Desdemona Royal National Theatre/The Old Vic
1964 The Master Builder Hilda Wangel
1964 Hay Fever Myra Arundel
1965 Much Ado About Nothing Beatrice
1965 Trelawny of the ‘Wells’ Avonia Bunn
1966 Miss Julie Miss Julie
1966 Black Comedy Clea
1966 A Bond Honoured Marcela
1969 The Country Wife Margery Pinchwife Chichester Festival Theatre
1970 The Beaux’ Stratagem Mrs. Sullen Royal National Theatre
Ahmanson Theatre
The Old Vic
1970 Hedda Gabler Hedda Tesman Royal National Theatre
Cambridge Theatre
1970 Three Sisters Masha Ahmanson
1971 Design for Living Gilda
1972 Private Lives Amanda Prynne Queen’s Theatre
1973 Peter Pan Peter Pan London Coliseum
1974 Snap Connie Hudson Vaudeville Theatre
1975 Private Lives Amanda Prynne US tour and 46th Street Theatre
1976 The Way of the World Millamant Stratford Shakespeare Festival
1976 Antony and Cleopatra Cleopatra
1976 Three Sisters Masha
1976 Measure for Measure Mistress Overdone
1976 The Guardsman The Actress SSF/Ahmanson
1977 A Midsummer Night’s Dream Titania/Hippolyta
1977 Richard III Queen Elizabeth SSF
1977 As You Like It Rosalind
1977 Hay Fever Judith Bliss
1978 Macbeth Lady Macbeth
1978 Private Lives Amanda Prynne 46th Street Theatre, Broadway
1979 Night and Day Ruth Carson Phoenix Theatre, London
ANTA Playhouse, Broadway
1980 Much Ado About Nothing Beatrice SSF
1980 The Seagull Arkadina
1980 Virginia Virginia Woolf SSF/Haymarket Theatre
1984 The Way of the World Millament CF/Haymarket
1985 Interpreters Nadia Ogilvy-Smith Queen’s Theatre
1986 The Infernal Machine Jocasta Lyric Theatre
1987 Coming into Land Halina Rodziewiczowna Royal National Theatre
Lyttelton Theatre
1987 Lettice and Lovage Lettice Doucett Globe Theatre
1990 Ethel Barrymore Theatre, Broadway
1993 The Importance of Being Earnest Lady Bracknell Aldwych Theatre
1994 Three Tall Women A Wyndham’s Theatre
1996 Talking Heads Susan CF/Comedy
1997 A Delicate Balance Claire Haymarket
1999 The Lady in the Van Miss Mary Shepherd Queen’s Theatre
2002 The Breath of Life Madeleiane Palmer Haymarket
2004 Talking Heads Susan Australian tour
2007 The Lady from Dubuque Elizabeth Haymarket
2019 A German Life Brunhilde Pomsel Bridge Theatre
Video games
Year Title Role Notes
2018 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery Minerva McGonagall Voice
Awards, honours and legacy
Main article: List of awards and nominations received by Maggie Smith

Smith was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1970 New Year Honours,[51][52] and was raised to Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 1990 New Year Honours, for services to the performing arts.[52][53] Smith was made a Member of the Order of the Companions of Honour (CH) for services to drama in the 2014 Queen’s Birthday Honours,[54][55] becoming the third actress to receive the honour, after Sybil Thorndike (1970) and Judi Dench (2005).

In 1971, Smith was conferred an honorary doctor of letters (DLitt) by the University of St Andrews.[56] In 1986, she was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters (DLitt) from the University of Bath.[57] In 1994, Smith received an honorary Doctor of Letters (DLitt) from the University of Cambridge.[58] In October 2017, Smith was conferred with an honorary fellowship of Mansfield College, Oxford.[59]

A six-time Academy Award nominee, Smith won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of an idealistic, unorthodox schoolteacher in the 1969 film The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, and won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the 1978 film California Suite.

She was awarded the Shakespeare Prize by the Hamburg Alfred Toepfer Foundation in 1991.[60] Smith was made a Fellow of the British Film Institute in recognition of her outstanding contribution to film culture in 1992.[61] She was elected to the American Theatre Hall of Fame in 1994. On 10 April 1999, Smith received the William Shakespeare Award for Classical Theatre (The Will Award) presented by the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C. in recognition of her significant contribution to classical theatre in the US.[62] On 9 February 2014 she was inducted into the Actors Hall of Fame.[63] Smith had a star on the London Avenue of Stars until all of the stars were removed in 2006.[64]

In 1993, she was awarded with the BAFTA Special Award by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.[5] In 1996, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts presented her with the BAFTA Fellowship, the highest honour the Academy can bestow.[65][5] At the 2010 Laurence Olivier Awards, she was celebrated with the Society of London Theatre Special Award. In 2013, she was awarded with the Evening Standard Icon Award.[66]

In September 2012, she was honoured with the Stratford Shakespeare Festival’s Legacy Award. She accepted the award, presented to her by Christopher Plummer, in a ceremony at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel.[8] In March 2016, Smith was awarded the Critics’ Circle Award for Distinguished Service to the Arts.[67] In April 2016, she was awarded the Bodley Medal by the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Libraries in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the performing arts.[9]

Smith married actor Robert Stephens on 29 June 1967. They had two sons, actors Chris Larkin (born 1967) and Toby Stephens (born 1969), and were divorced on 6 April 1975.[68] Smith married playwright Beverley Cross on 23 June 1975, at the Guildford Register Office, and they remained married until his death on 20 March 1998. When asked in 2013 if she was lonely, she replied, “it seems a bit pointless, going on one’s own, and not having someone to share it with”. Smith has five grandchildren.

In January 1988, Smith was diagnosed with Graves’ disease, for which she underwent radiotherapy and optical surgery.[73] In 2007, the Sunday Telegraph disclosed that Smith had been diagnosed with breast cancer. In 2009, she was reported to have made a full recovery.

In September 2011, Smith offered her support for raising the NZ$4.6 million needed to help rebuild the Court Theatre in Christchurch, New Zealand, after the earthquake in 2011 that caused severe damage to the area.[75] In July 2012, she became a patron of the International Glaucoma Association, hoping to support the organization and raise the profile of glaucoma.[76] On 27 November 2012, she contributed a drawing of her own hand to the 2012 Celebrity Paw Auction, to raise funds for Cats Protection.