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The British acting veteran has portrayed Downton’s Dowager Countess, Violet Crawley, since the ITV show’s inception in 2010, but claims that when it returns to screens later this year for its sixth series, it could very well be her last.
Speaking to the Sunday Times, she explains: “They say this is the last one, and I can’t see how it could go on.
“I mean, I certainly can’t keep going. To my knowledge, I must be 110 by now. We’re into the late 1920s.”
Dame Maggie Smith in 'Downton Abbey'
Dame Maggie also confesses that she’s not totally comfortable with the level of fame ‘Downton’ has brought her, revealing that she’d managed to avoid that level of celebrity for her whole career until now.
"What's awful is it used to be just autographs, but now everyone wants photographs. You begin to feel like all those people who believed photographs took the soul away.
"There's nothing like privacy, but nobody will have that soon. Nobody's private any more."
It was widely reported last month that the forthcoming sixth series of ‘Downton’ would be the last, with several of the show’s leading actors having already left to pursue other projects, such as Lily James who is about to star as the lead in a rebooted version of Disney’s ‘Cinderella’.