Maggie Smith

Maggie Smith

Appeared with Laurence Olivier in "Rhinoceros" in the English Stage Company's 1960 London production. Olivier pronounced her acting "Marvelous.".

Appointed a CBE in 1970 and a DBE (Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) in 1990.

At the Oscars in 2002, Whoopi Goldberg introduced her, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith as "The Smith Family".

Created an honorary D.Litt of the Universities of St Andrews and Cambridge in 1971 and 1995 respectively.

Director Agnieszka Holland admired Maggie Smith for years before making The Secret Garden (1993). She knew of Smith's talents and immediately offered her the role of Mrs. Medlock.

Educated at the High School for Girls in Oxford, she started out in the theater as a prompt girl and understudy at the Oxford Repertory. She claims she never went on as no one ever fell ill.

Had to change her stage name to "Maggie Smith" as there already was an actress named "Margaret Smith" at the time she started in the profession.

Has been in three films that have the word "secret" in their titles: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), The Secret Garden (1993) and Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (2002).

Has played fictional fascists twice: first Jean Brodie in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969) and then Lady Hester Random in Tea with Mussolini (1999).

Her father Nathaniel was a Geordie and a pathologist. Her mother Margaret was a Glaswegian and a secretary.

Her twin brothers Ian and Alistair are six years older than she is. They are both architects.

In 2003, she became the seventeenth performer to win the Triple Crown of acting. Oscars: Best Actress, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969) & Best Supporting Actress, California Suite (1978), Tony: Best Actress - Play, "Lettice and Lovage" (1990), and Emmy: Best Actress - Miniseries/Movie, My House in Umbria (2003) (TV).

In 2008, it was reported that she was fighting breast cancer. She has had a tumor removed and undergone chemotherapy.

Is a good friend of Judi Dench.

Is a patron of the Jane Austen Society, devoted to author Jane Austen and her work.

Is a vice-president of Chichester Cinema at New Park. Anita Roddick and Kenneth Branagh are also vice-presidents.

Is one of only a few actresses to win a Best Supporting Actress Oscar after winning a Best Actress Oscar.

Is one of twelve actresses to have won the Triple Crown of Acting (an Oscar, Emmy and Tony); the others in chronological order are Helen Hayes, Ingrid Bergman, Shirley Booth, Liza Minnelli, Rita Moreno, Maureen Stapleton, Jessica Tandy, Audrey Hepburn, Anne Bancroft, Vanessa Redgrave and Ellen Burstyn.

Made her stage debut with the Oxford University Dramatic Society as Viola in Shakespare's "Twelfth Night." Bird-dogged by an American theatrical impresario, the part led to her being cast in her Broadway debut in "New Faces of 1956."

Mother of actor Chris Larkin and Toby Stephens.