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'Downton Abbey' clip reveals Shirley MacLaine vs. Maggie Smith

August 24, 2012|By Patrick Kevin Day
  • Maggie Smith plays the Dowager Countess in "Downton Abbey."
Maggie Smith plays the Dowager Countess in "Downton Abbey." (Nick Briggs / PBS )

"Downton Abbey" doesn't return to PBS until Jan. 6, but fans have been clamoring for all the info they can get ever since it was announced that Shirley MacLaine would be joining the cast. Besides a Season 3 preview shown to TV journalists at the TCA press tour earlier this summer, not much has been seen of MacLaine in action.

But now we're finally getting a peek, and of course, she's clashing (ever so politely) with Maggie Smith, the Dowager Countess herself.

In the British drama's third season, MacLaine will play Martha Levinson, the wealthy and American mother of Lady Cora (Elizabeth McGovern), who has come to Downton at a time when the Crawley family coffers are in desperate needs of replenishing. Unfortunately, certain members of the family can't seem to get over their innate snobishness.

If the Dowager Countess' frequent snippy comments were one of the main pleasures of the first two seasons, then it appears that fans will get more than their fill during Season 3.


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