Downton Abbey is set to welcome Hollywood royalty Shirley Maclaine

Downton Abbey is set to welcome Hollywood royalty following the news that Academy award and Golden Globe winner Shirley MacLaine will be joining the cast.

The actress, who has stared in many films, including ‘In Her Shoes’ and ‘Terms of Endearment’, will play Martha Levinson, Lady Grantham’s mother when filming for the third series of the hit show begins next month.

Speaking of Shirley’s new role, managing direction of Carnival films, Gareth Neame said: “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.

“Julian 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.”

Laura Mackie, Director of drama at ITV added: “It is so exciting to have an actress of Shirley MacLaine’s stature joining our brilliant Downton Abbey cast for series three and a tribute to the show’s success on both sides of the Atlantic”.

 

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