Maggie Smith

English actress

Dame Margaret Natalie Smith CH DBE (born 28 December 1934) is an English actress. With an extensive career in theatre, film, and television over seven decades, she is one of Britain's most recognisable and prolific actresses. Smith has also achieved the Triple Crown of Acting winning two Academy Awards, a Tony Award, and four Primetime Emmy Awards. She has also received numerous accolades including five BAFTA Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, and five Screen Actors Guild Awards. She is particularly known for her wit in comedic roles.

Quotes

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"You have to laugh" (2004)

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"You have to laugh", The Guardian (20 November 2004)
  • I tend to head for what's amusing because a lot of things aren't happy. But usually you can find a funny side to practically anything.
  • I wanted to be a serious actress, but of course that didn't really happen. I did Desdemona [at the National, opposite Olivier] with great discomfort and was terrified all the time. But then everyone was terrified of Larry.
  • [On the attempted suicide of her husband, actor Robert Stephens, who was playing the lead in the film The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970) at the time] And after that it was just hopeless. We had two little boys. He didn't understand. I sure as hell didn't understand. It got worse and then it went on getting worse and worse. In the end it was destroying everybody. And he was having so many affairs. [Stephens saw doctors] I remember when he was diagnosed as hyper-manic asking what it meant and the doctor saying violent moods swings and indiscriminate sexual activity. And I thought "that about covers it really".
  • It's true I don't tolerate fools but then they don't tolerate me, so I am spiky. Maybe that's why I'm quite good at playing spiky elderly ladies.
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