‘Downton Abbey’ Fans: Here Comes Shirley MacLaine

The Oscar-winning actress is set to join the cast of the PBS period drama.

by Lesley Kennedy • MORE.com Reporter

How does a TV series already receiving rave reviews up its buzz factor? Hire Shirley MacLaine.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the award-winning actress is joining the cast of PBS’s Brit period drama Downton Abbey for its third season.

MacLaine will play American Martha Levinson, mother of Lady Grantham (Elizabeth McGovern). 

“My late grandfather directed Shirley MacLaine in Gambit in 1966, so it is a delight for me that she will be joining us on Downton Abbey,” managing director Gareth Neame tells the Reporter. “[Creator] Julian [Fellowes] has written another brilliant character in Martha Levinson, who will be a wonderful combatant for Maggie Smith’s Dowager Countess, and we are excited at the prospect of Shirley MacLaine playing her.”

Maggie Smith versus Shirley MacLaine? Now, this is what you call must-see TV.

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First Published January 31, 2012

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